• -
  • irishtimes.com - Posted: November 27, 2009 @ 10:25 am

    Spotify remains silent

    Ciara O'Brien

    It could have all been so great. A new internet service that allowed you to pick and choose which songs you want to listen to and discover new ones, all at your own leisure, from your own laptop. Spotify has taken off, quickly becoming an internet darling.

    But Spotify, it appears, isn’t interested in Ireland. Sure, it’s in beta. And we get that the free service isn’t available (as hundreds of users found when they got an email from Spotify alerting them to the fact).

    But you can’t sign up for the premium service here either. Click through to the homepage and you get “Why is Spotify not available in my country?”.

    It doesn’t seem to have always been that way. After being cut off from the free service, some Spotify fans in ireland went premium. And I’ve had a few puzzled messages from people asking me why they could no longer sign up for premium access.

    We should probably be used to it at this stage. Companies that launch services in the UK take months to get around to making them available in Ireland. While they talk about differing licensing agreements, Irish consumers are, at times, left feeling like second class citizens.

    However, in the case of Spotify, they haven’t even told us that much. To date, I’ve sent four emails to Spotify’s press contact asking why the premium service is not available in Ireland. All four have been ignored.

    Spotify doesn’t have a phone contact on their website. A little googling unearthed a number, but it didn’t work. So I had no choice but to keep trying their press email address on their website.

    The first email was casual. The second explained no one had been in contact and could someone please respond as I had a deadline. After all, emails can get lost, missed or simply forgotten about. Ditto for the third and fourth. There hasn’t even been an acknowledgment that the emails were even received.

    For any company, this is pretty poor. For a new media company, doing business on the internet, it’s shabby.

    The ironic thing is that on Spotify’s own page explaining the restrictions generally, the phrase “All good things come to those who wait!” appears.

    It seems there are plenty of people out there who would like to pay Spotify for the premium service. Perhaps the company might like to answer why they can’t when up to a few weeks ago, they could?

    • It’s been well documented that Spotify’s costs are exceeding their income so they have had to restrict the number of users using the service. It may well be that even Premium users will need to pay a bit more in the future.

    • Mark Crowley says:

      I have been using the premium service here in the republic of Cork for around 6 months now. Strange that they are no longer taking paying customers.

    • Shane says:

      I’ve been a premium customer in the midlands for well over a year now with no disruption so far… Strangeness abound.!

    • Chris says:

      I was a Spotify premium customer up until this month and had no trouble with it. After the initial excitement of being able to access all sorts of music, the novelty’s worn off a bit. I’m also trying to cut my monthly outgoings and I just can’t justify spending 120 squid a year on Spotify. Especially when there are other sites out there where I can listen to music for nothing or for far less money should I care to pay.

      We are treated like second class citizens in Ireland. Why can’t we get a free version of Spotify? Or indeed Last.fm or the other music sites available to our friends across the water?