What is Spotify? Your teens will be pleading for it – so will you! Is it safe?

Have you heard of Spotify yet? No doubt you will soon, as it landed in Australia early May. Spotify is a little like an old fashioned lending library for music.  It has 15 million songs available legally. You can download the software for free and on a laptop or PC/Mac you can listen to music – all sorts – free.  You can only play it online, not offline so you are using your download allowance to listen.  Still it is a great service for free!  The down side is that you have to listen to the odd advertisement.  It’s not too bad, they are infrequent and short and it is a bit like listening to a commercial radio station.

If you want it on your mobile device: such as an iphone or ipad and/or you want to play it offline you will have to pay.  At the moment it costs $6.99 (without ads) or $11.99 a month (without ads and with the ability to play it offline so as to save your download allowance).  It is the new way to listen to music. CDs are about to go the same way as LPs am afraid. There are some traps…..you can share your music on Facebook and so unless you check that your settings are secure everyone will know that you’ve been secretly listening to Engleburt Humperdink! And there is one other thing – some say that this is a ‘bait and switch’ trick, that is, that once Spotify has you hooked and you are more than fond of your playlists they will up the price and you will be left with the choice to pay or not and lose your access to the music you have come to love and depend on.  Meanwhile I am enjoying it on my laptop for free and it has been fun. 

If your teens are on it it means that they are listening and downloading music legally – something that teens have tended not to do in the past in their desperation to have access to the latest songs.  Now they can and they are not pirating or infringing copyright.  Spotify is not the only company to offer this service but it is the only one connected to Facebook and it is likely that teens will come to it in their droves because of this.  Be ready to decide if you want to pay for it or if you feel that they should finance it, at $120 a year it is not out of their reach….for now anyway. 

Read more in this article: Why I’m Not Going Near Spotify (and Why You Shouldn’t Either) by James Allworth http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2011/07/why_im_not_going_near_spotify.html

About Renata Rowe

Deputy Head of Campus/Head of Secondary, Ivanhoe Grammar School, Plenty Campus This blog is the School's way of helping our parents and teachers understand and experience the cyber world that their children live in. We post stories about the latest cyber safety issues, and the latest social mediums that their children and teens might be using. We believe that teaching children and teens to be good Digital Citizen from a young age will protect them and their reputations. Our parents have been delighted and have subscribed so that they can receive our updates - we post about once or twice a week. So subscribe - its easy to do, just enter your email address in the box in the top righthand corner of the home page and posts will automatically be delivered to you.
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