I have to wonder if Spotify has fallen victim to the siren's lure of "social". Perhaps they believe their future lies in integration with the social graph and news feed. If so (IMHO), they are sorely mistaken.
I believe some services already have you tweet or post that you've listened to a particular song. Zuckerberg seems to believe in "sharing and more sharing"  and automatic sharing. What would be the end result of this? On a particularly music-filled day I might send 100+ posts about songs I've listen to? Really? People will ever look at that?
If it's part of the main news feed, it's spam. If it's not, nobody cares... except Facebook, who can mine such data.
And maybe Spotify except... they already have access to this data (for their subscribers). It just makes no sense.
Spotify is also late to the party (in the US at least). Any kind of restriction like this is incredibly risky. Other established players don't have this restriction. While you can argue that "normal people" don't care, who recommends such services to family and friends? It's us.
And any player in the music space would be remiss to ignore the 800 pound gorilla in the room, being Apple's iTunes. iCloud launches soon. Honestly I think it'll kill a few of these "upstarts".
Also, I am less than convinced of the utility of mobile streaming. Bandwidth and connectivity are still issues. Increasing storage and all-you-can-eat subscription models seem like a far better solution (IMHO).
What would be the end result of this? On a particularly music-filled day I might send 100+ posts about songs I've listen to? Really? People will ever look at that?
If it's part of the main news feed, it's spam. If it's not, nobody cares... except Facebook, who can mine such data
Perhaps the key mechanism for new Open Graph developers to present their content in the news feed (and thus take advantage of the distribution possibilities there) is through aggregations. The workflow for signing up to be an Open Graph Developer actually makes you create one. What this means is that while there will be hundreds of posts from your friends about listening to songs in the Ticker, the news feed will have something like "10 of your friends listened to Foster the People today!", which actually happened to me yesterday and was actually the first time I had heard about that band. One click allowed me to listen to them on Spotify. I ended up finding a new band I liked through my friends, and I used Spotify a little bit more. So there are use cases here that can work really well, with aggregation making the volume of content that comes from autosharing more manageable.
There are several reasons they might have taken this decision, one might be that it was part of a deal they made with Facebook. Spotify is probably aware that like most websites, they are a fad, and they need a way to survive. They've chosen to become a cleaner fish for a much larger animal that will provide them with food and protection, in return for a valuable service. It's neither a good, nor a bad business decision. It's a rational one.
Much of life does not progress linearly or even continuously. Business planning requires that business people make assumptions. Some of those assumptions are good, but most are probably not. The question is what one will do to cope when your assumptions go bad.
Some failed assumptions you can shift with, others are fatal.
Spotify has made the assumption that people won't flock away from facebrick. There are all sorts of events that can kill social networks, and they're betting against that happening.
I completely agree with you but with Facebook they don't need us to tell family and friends.
Far better than Spotify? You do realize that Spotify is an all-you-can-eat subscription model?
So, I am telling friends/family now that the folks at Spotify are a bunch of corporate tools. Whereas I used to tell them how incredibly awesome the Spotify service was.
I am not a lab rat to be analyzed. I do not want corporate data miners pawing through every move I make. My god.
For whoever builds the service, it's (marginally) easier to just use FB as an authentication provider and they even get to spin it as "with us, you don't need to store the 1000st password - you can just use Facebook".
For Facebook, of course, it's great too as it is one more thing to force people to stay logged in, which in turn is much better data for them.
The end users probably wouldn't care either as they are mostly logged into Facebook anyways and if not, it's easy for them to just log in.
The only losers are us professionals who know about the implications of such a move and who care about the loss of privacy.
And of course the people who had their facebook account suspended for either legitimate reasons or just some oversensitive SPAM protection algorithm. These people are now locked out of their, possibly even paid, account, unable to access it (and remove credit card info). Of course these will be the minority and people won't care.
Until it's them that are affected.
I can understand that in this day and age you want to provide the users with an option to authenticate with something else than yet another username and password. Google, Twitter, Yahoo or even any OpenID provider (maybe your own). Sure.
But just Facebook? This is trouble waiting to happen.
I'm saying this as somebody who can't have Spotify anyways due to the complete brokenness of the licensing market, but this still concerns me as it's just another precedent and I'm just waiting for another service I love to force me to use Facebook.
(with the extension that the 'clicking on the session link' could one day be automated behind the scenes)
You're right. But there is salvation on the music front: Use Streamripper to download music from a diversity of Internet Radios, and listen to it on your leisure, radically deleting everything that doesn't appeal to you. I guess you'll discover some new music, too! (I did). Somafm.com and Schizoid are good places to start. Streamripper also interprets metadata and will name the downloaded MP3 tracks in a recognizable way.
Is Facebook any different than those others? Google, Twitter, and Yahoo also all want to slurp up all personal user data that they can collect, and represent a single-point-of-failure for a spam detection false positive or account compromisation.
If it's my http://firstname.lastname.com OpenID identity, I will always own and control it, even if Zuckerberg goes off the deep end and tracks me even when I'm not logged in and shares these details with non-Facebook sites, etc.
FB 1 - G =0 for now?
"Hey Guys thanks for your question, Unfortunately you will need a Facebook account to access Spotify from now on, unless you already have an account set up.
This does not stop you creating the Facebook account adding nothing to it and making it totally private as the Facebook account does not have to be actively used. "
This is asinine.
Actually it does, based on the FB Terms :
4.1.: You will not provide any false personal information on Facebook [...]
4.2: You will not create more than one personal profile.
As far as I can tell, they are only doing checks against obvious spammers. It's not like they have a team of people doing detailed background checks on each and every signup that comes through. That would be impossible to do. As long as you create a reasonable persona, they are not going to hunt you down. There will be no serious repercussions.
That wasn't my point though. I get annoyed when I see these non-solutions being offered. Of course, barely anyone will mind the linking of their FB account. Those people who don't, have no obvious way out (sign up for a second email address to sign up for a second facebook account to sign up for spotify). To suggest otherwise is a bit insulting. The answer should have been: "We're sorry, this is just how it will be from now on."
I just checked and I can still access my account without a Facebook account linked to it, but I wonder if they're going to pull that out as well.
Additionally, each time the account is deactivated, the service time-bans the users who most recently were assigned the deactivated account (suspected to be Facebook's security team) for 6 hours, sends all other users the credentials to a new auto-created account, and looks for repeat presence of IPs in the time-banned group to be perma-banned.
1: If there's a Facebook engineer on the App stuff reading this, will this dialog invalidate all OAuth keys?
Reset Secret Key?
Are you sure you want to reset the secret key for Pico Oauth2 Test?
If you proceed, access to the API with your old secret will be denied. This operation cannot be undone.
The "14-days abroad" limitation for free users might be the issue. Perhaps people were just creating 2nd and 3rd and 4th etc accounts.
Aside from this, there are still valid technical reasons to abandon local login. Just because you have a capcha, forgotpw, etc system written doesn't mean there aren't benefits from getting rid of it - including the portion of the support staff responsible for "I can't log in" problems. And if they used multiple OpenID providers? Expect to hire more.
I'm not saying that this is the reason Spotify is doing what they did - I don't work for them. But it's certainly plausible that going FB-only is being done for technical reasons, and I expect they have a pretty good idea of what they're gaining and losing by making this decision.
I suppose the Amish probably aren't interested in Spotify...
The ethos is apparently to work hard and with your hands, and they have no qualms in letting people with physical issues use tech; the example given in the article was a farmer who had arthritis and whose sons had moved out, who was permitted to use a tractor in order to keep his farm going.
Some people won't even use Google for this reason.
My PC's are facebook-cookie-free.
I have a feeling that this was a condition that Facebook insisted on in return for Spotify being used for Facebook Music. I hope the deal turns out to be worth it.
I seem to recall a post where they said that people who linked their Facebook accounts bought and share more music. And as a result of the deep integration with Facebook, they'll probably have a sharp increase in their growth.
I just hope that this is a temporary condition and that they eventually allow other methods of signing up. Otherwise, they might as well just be acquired by Facebook.
I wonder if this move is related to the problem I'm having using my login on the desktop client (error code 410, stuck in offline mode. Mobile app on the same wifi networks works fine.)
Now, I guess not. I would have paid them, too.
This is absolutely ridiculously stupid of them to do. They alienate potential customers, but more importantly, they do not own their customers.
If the Facebook relationship goes sour, Spotify is still permanently tied to them.
Once you own non-DRMed music, they can't take it away.
Streaming services are not reliable, neither is the cloud. Hard currency is the value, its not like storage is expensive any more, there is no reason to not own your own collection and be the boss of your domain.
There are reasons. The-all-you-can-eat model certainly makes much more music available, which is better for discovering new music. Also, if you regularly listen to a lot of new/different music, Spotify/Rdio/etc would be cheaper than iTunes/Amazon mp3.
Personally, I'm in a kind of "stuck" position where I'm trying to decide whether I should continue to buy music from Amazon, or should switch to an all-you-can-eat streaming service.
Storage isn't expensive, but managing files is a pain. Especially if you have to manage it across multiple devices. I just want to listen to some Nujabes, do I really have to care where it's saved, or whether I'm on my work PC, my laptop, or the media center downstairs? And that's before you get into the pain of syncing stuff onto your phone...
I pay for the convenience of not having to pirate.
(I picked this example because it is both what I am listening to now, and for the irony of it being unavailable on Spotify.)
This sounds like a technological problem, and one that could be easily solved if someone put a little elbow grease into it.
> I pay for the convenience of not having to pirate.
Well, Spotify customers are clearly paying for the inconvenience of having Facebook have access to all their data as well. I'll take piracy over Facebook having access to my information any day.
And I don't know why people make piracy sound like such a difficult thing to do. It seems absolutely trivial to me.
Still I think my freedom and the artists economy and thus a free uncontrolled culture is far more important than my convenience.
I am however developing something that will make it far more easier for me to listen to all of my collections on all my devices any time, it will be even more convenient than streaming services since Ill be in control all the time.
Nujabes. What can I say, good choice lad, good choice. You know about DJ Okawari?
"In the 90's we had to deal with Windows-only software. Now we have Facebook-only software. Great."
Facebook is becoming dominant because humanity in general can not grow up from its glory days in college-rules.com
None of those are big enough barriers to entry to keep even the small players away, meanwhile the big dogs are starting to show a lot of interest in streaming music (admittedly for music you "own" at the moment, but it would surprise noone if this were to change overnight).
Apple has the marketing weight and a history of solving music licensing issues, Google has a track record of throwing money at problems to solve them, and Amazon is just about to make a major hardware play.
Spotify's only real hope was to latch onto the latest big thing (conveniently an infrastructure provider, so unlikely to launch a direct competitor) and hope to ride to success on someone else's coat-tails.
I have no idea what the contracts between the two companies look like, but I would have to imagine that they are heavily in Facebook's favour. After all, it would be a lot easier for Facebook to replace Spotify with another provider than it would be for Spotify to replace Facebook.
Their product is far from unique, and only really interesting because it has better PR, more apps, a better library, and a slightly more legit licensing setup than the competition.
Slightly more legit? I think the phrase you are looking for is "completely legit, as opposed to some of the others who are lawsuit-bait-on-a-stick."
After all, it would be a lot easier for Facebook to replace Spotify with another provider than it would be for Spotify to replace Facebook.
Only if that other provider had the same kind of licenses with the record labels. At this point, Spotify is far ahead of the pack at that game.
We don't know it's a sweet deal. My gut feeling is that it isn't, but that's by-the-by. We don't know anything.
Slightly more legit? I think the phrase you are looking for is "completely legit, as opposed to some of the others who are lawsuit-bait-on-a-stick.
From the point of view of the users it really is only slightly more legit. From the point of view of the content providers, slightly less legit is not the same as illegal, and from the point of view of the service providers, legal and and a one-off court case is better than legal and ongoing licensing fees.
You also appear to be assuming that Spotify are the only licensed game in town, and will continue to be. This is, of course, trivially untrue (Rhapsody).
Only if that other provider had the same kind of licenses with the record labels. At this point, Spotify is far ahead of the pack at that game.
You appear to be assuming that getting those licenses is difficult. It really isn't. If Spotify managed it, any competent competitor can also do it -- after all, the labels have no particular loyalty to a small Swedish online radio network.
Spotify is far from a small Swedish online radio network; here in Europe they are far and away the market leader. They have over a million accounts in Norway alone, which is phenomenal penetration in a country of 5 million.
Second, getting those licenses was incredibly difficult for them; the negotiations to enter the US market took several years. There is absolutely no indication that the record labels are prepared to give similar terms, or even any terms at all, to other competitors. Again, here in Europe, I know of several firms attempting to compete with Spotify, and they are getting hung up on precisely this point.
Or you can have fun with GM having become massively negatively sized when it reported a $4.3bn loss in 2009...
Hey Guys thanks for your question, Unfortunately you will need a Facebook account to access Spotify from now on, unless you already have an account set up.
This does not stop you creating the Facebook account adding nothing to it and making it totally private as the Facebook account does not have to be actively used.
Couple of things to note:
1. If you already have a Spotify account, you don't have to connect to Facebook.
2. They seem to be encouraging a bogus Facebook account as a way to use Spotify "privately"?
Spotify just gave Facebook a terrific amount of analytics data that will help Fb market music and drive sales better than Spotify itself does.
Is it now required by law to actively use your social network accounts?
Social media is simply the middle class and the tax payers paying for investments in technology. The U.S. government inflates the money supply, through bailouts and zero interest loans, for banks, who refuse to lend to the general public. However, this money can not sit on the sidelines, since inflation the cash itself creates cause it to lose value so tons of it end up in wacky technology investments.
It does not matter which type the investor is — angel or some other sort of creature. A billionaire or a friendly neighbour. Everybody wants to invest as much money they get from banks as loans and as little of their own as possible.
The money the banks give ultimately comes from the middle class that consumes these services (can't really call them products can we?) in the first place.
Thus the middle class is paying a bunch of middle men and lucky dorks with it's own money to invent these services and they will be later paying lots more to "enjoy" them.
Nevermind the loss of privacy, which is simply an icing on the cake.
Question: if these are social technologies shouldn't the State be doing these types of investments in the first place?
Or if they are social in the other sense, in terms of authentic grass-roots and anti-state citizenry — shouldn't social media be about personal blogs, news feeds, videos etc..?
Spotify and facebook are two unrelated services that users get to apply the 'binary or' truth table on. None, one or both. To force users to use both communicates that spotify sees only one possible exit strategy at this point, facebook or bust, and facebook has just strengthened their hand in the negotiations for any buyout to the point where spotify is now basically just an extension of facebook.
If spotify does not want to play ball on fb's terms from now on facebook has the ability to pull the rug right out from under them.
I wonder what the missing bits are here, there has to be a lot more than meets the eye for spotify to do this.
I'd run, not walk, away from any Spotify subscription.
Facebook is a very popular service that makes perfect sense to integrate with. Don't forget that they are also "ignoring" anybody that doesn't have broadband; streaming all your music over ppp or metered wireless isn't very desirable.
Cutting off arbitrary users who aren't bad fits for you is a good way to limit your user base. Sure it's 700-800 million people, but not all of the ones who use FB are going to want your service, and if it is any good some who don't use FB will. Why limit yourself that way? Especially when they already supported non-FB accounts for everything but the social features, so the work had already been put in.
* Not sure about this part. You probably lose your web spotify session if you log off facebook (?), but your desktop app session would probably not be affected.
(I also will never use anything that requires a Facebook login other than Facebook itself.)
I was under impression that most of the time, it doesn't happens.
And of course giving my real name via billing to Spotify is a completely different than giving my real name to Facebook to display and use it as they see fit.
As far as automatic sharing goes, I've already told several of my friends that they can change their sharing to the "only me" setting so that they're not spamming what they're playing on Facebook.
I enjoy Spotify, but it is kind of a hassle to have to change settings to make it usable.
There is nothing like having free money thanks to the billions of Golman Sachs, we will see how much they recoup.
Given that their intentions are different from their user's (they want profits, users want... to share photos), it is not hard to assume that Facebook does and will use the user data in order to maximize profits or grip on power.
I think that nothing good will come out of this marriage of Spotify and Facebook.
Facebook gains a lot of meta information about the Spotify users (and music taste tells a huge amount about a person), whereas Spotify is reduced to being a convenient and easily replace-able bit pipe.
Now they'll be able to run their social algorithms based on music habits and offer us the best, most relevant and unique crap for sale on the market.
Or one day the government decides to isolate the listeners of The Doors and deny login to every site that uses facebook as a virtual passport.
Google Music and Rdio aren't available outside of the US/Canada.
I can't help but wonder if these were the onerous terms that Apple would not agree to with Ping.
There's been a lot of anti-Facebook chatter recently, most of which I agree with mind you, but given the backlash so far regarding this new restriction, do you think there's really enough weight behind these online discussions to make them change their minds?
Particularly if there's a contract sitting in a drawer, saying they must take this course of action, regardless of user/customer sentiment.
She's definitely been getting increasingly frustrated by their grabbiness, and has been coming to me with stories about Facebook and privacy on the Internet. Granted, that's because she knows I'm interested, but we don't move in the same circles online, which means that these stories are indeed penetrating further than just the HN bubble. She's nowhere near ready to dump the service yet, but the idea is clearly thinkable.
(Anecdote? Certainly! Let me know when you figure out how to run a repeatable study on this topic.)
To be honest, if Facebook IPO'ed tomorrow, I think I'd pass. I'd probably miss out on an initial increase, but I bet in 2014 Facebook will not be as dominant as it is now, and their growth (not their survival, but their growth) depends on that not happening.
I do have my own account, and certainly use it far too often to share far too much, but I've been almost anal with restricting 3rd party access to my personal feed of posts.
That said, I would absolutely stop using Spotify if I felt that my listening habits were being forcibly fed to Facebook, despite my auto-scrobbling to Last.fm
I don't understand the argument that the non-tech public doesn't care about their privacy, because they do. Why do people make their accounts private in the first place? Because they don't want future employers reading their posts, but they're fine with a faceless corporation doing it?
Honestly I think a well-written NY Times article could start to hurt them on this.
Spotify -> Facebook integration used to be optional. Now it's becoming mandatory. It's hard to find an upside of that for users.
The only upside that I can possibly think of is that some ... "non-technical" users won't get confused by choices. So now the choice has now been made for them to exchange their privacy for happy fun friend feeds. Simple!
So, what's in it for Spotify?
In my opinion, this was a very bad move. Spotify is now relying on Facebook. God forbid Facebook ends up like Myspace and no one cares about them in 4 years, then I guess Spotify will just go down with the ship?
What I'm curious about is if this was their game plan from the beginning. I wouldn't say it's an act of desperation at all, I bet they celebrated when the FB deal was finalized. They're pushing it pretty hard. I signed up for Spotify weeks before this, but as soon as f8 hit my local Spotify app bothered me about checking what my friends are listening to on Facebook even after I authorized the connection.
This is anecdotal, but I wanted to point out that facebook isn't as widespread as people think.
Is this really true? Or do they just not know what us "enlightened" do?
I think once people understand what is at stake they'll care. The problem is it's just difficult to visualize and understand. If FB really wants our trust, let us see what they have on us and then let people decide where they stand. But of course they'll never be that transparent.
I really think people of my age (19, but I would venture to say teenagers and people in their 20's) are too young to care about this sort of thing, they're living the most open time of their lives anyway. We have grown up with the internet, and we're pretty much used to it. Not to take a guess at your age, but I have a feeling most HN posters/techbubble bloggers are older and have seen a lot more happen in terms of the internet evolving. I imagine if I had watched the internet materialize from the beginning this would be alarming, but I was practically born into it if you take into account the fact that I haven't been using the internet for more than about 9 years. And while I do understand what Facebook is doing probably a little better than most of my peers, I still can't really let myself care. I personally never felt I give them much of anything significant. My existence online isn't that important to me right now. And free music is pretty great.
You're right, I'm older than you. I was on Friendster in college and then Myspace. Graduated as Facebook was coming up so I never got the college experience of it. (God I feel old now, thanks a lot, 19 year-old!) I think at your age perhaps I didn't care either, but now I do. I think trivial status updates can mean more than we think and they at least can place where you were at a certain time. It's a lot of information that could be dangerous in the wrong hands.
EDIT: I'm not trying to say that "you'll change when you grow older," rather that's just what happened to me.
What's not cool is being bombarded with broken modals trying to get me to re-oauth Facebook to start streaming everything I listen to into my feed. But at the same time they broke the old Facebook integration, so now it's all or nothing.
"If you wish to close your Spotify account, log into your Spotify account profile (https://www.spotify.com/account/profile/), and add ".del" to your email address. Your account will be closed within 48 hours."
This obviously stinks if you think Facebook is some super evil company, but if you're a regular person it probably doesn't matter.
Optional Facebook auth would save every one person and still gain those two people.
Why is it "ewww" for you? What would be a better solution? What are the pros and cons of this decision for Spotify, for FB and for the user?
Facebook have an increasingly bad reputation. Spotify, now it has made Facebook the only way to sign up, has tarred its own reputation by becoming so closely tied to Facebook.
Beyond this they have locked out users who do not have a Facebook or do not wish to tie an essentially private Facebook account to a public service.
Looking beyond the sign up page, they are also increasingly pushing Facebook and other social media on to Spotify users with no way to hide some of these features. This, for me at least, is just adding distracting fluff to the Spotify UI.
Considering how they got 2 million paid subscribers without this functionality it is baffling that they would essentially disable completely a sign up mechanism that was working perfectly well.
As a premium Spotify user I will be switching to Deezer next month if a u-turn is not made on this decision.
Pro: some users like the integration and the social features that it gives them. This doesn't explain why it's now mandatory, or why it's become mandatory right now.
Pro: Has Spotify done some kind of deal with Facebook, and Facebook insisted on this? I put "pro" since I assume that Spotify also got something out of the hypothetical deal.
Con: There are some users (like myself) who think that facebook knows enough about me already, and really do not want to integrate them into anything. I like the face that the web is not an extension of the facebook machine.
As an existing Spotify user this policy does not apply to me (yet?) but it's repellent. As a paying Spotify user I don't feel that I would be obliged to put up with that. I don't complain about FB too much since hey, I didn't pay anything for it and no-body actually forced me to use it. I know, "if you're not the customer, you're the product" - but with Spotify, I bloody well am the paying customer, they've got my money, they don't need to sell me to Facebook. They can take their Facebook integration and GTFO.
Edit: a friend has suggested that Spotify are angling to be bought by Facebook, and this will help them integrate for that.
It's worth noting that Spotify used to have optional facebook integration, i.e. "the standard Facebook - or - Default sign up page", and they have taken the effort to remove this for new signups. There must be some reason for actively removing this choice, and I don't think that "mass-market users are confused by having 2 different choices" is it.
If a Facebook account is mandatory (at the moment it isn't), they might expect a greater number of users to link their accounts. It doesn't seem unreasonable to expect that the number of people who additionally link their accounts will exceed the number of subscriptions lost from people who refuse to have a Facebook accounts. If a greater number of people linking accounts => increased Premium registrations, then this could very easily be a purely business decision.
Also, this is a statistical relationship - there will be users who were likely to buy premium membership but don't like facebook, who are now less likely to buy. Or who are now reconsidering their existing spotify subscriptions.
Music is extremely social. Facebook is social. Annoying, yes. Smart, definitely.
> Hey Guys thanks for your question, Unfortunately you will need a Facebook account to access Spotify from now on, unless you already have an account set up.
This does not stop you creating the Facebook account adding nothing to it and making it totally private as the Facebook account does not have to be actively used.
I don't know if I find this hilarious, ironic or stupid. He turns towards [potential] costumers and says 'unfortunately' for something that was sole spotify decision.
Then suggesting creating bogus/zombie facebook accounts it's just plain pathetic.
2) it's very smart for facebook to own music and therefore, emotion (Twitter hedge fund? FORGET THAT, I'm going to start a SPOTIFY hedge fund.)
3) the number one reason i use spotify is social: i like being able to listen to a friend's playlist (i have chosen him as an arbiter of cool music...)
4) i still use youtube to search out esoteric sounds that aren't available on itunes/amazon/spotify
This link is on spotify's help page and enables the open sign up without facebook, the nag screens post there-of, I do not know, I don't use paid or will-attempt-to-make-me-pay services, and to boot, Grooveshark is still free without an account