Spotify’s recent Q1 results show overall subscribers up to 217 million, with paying subscribers reaching 100 million for the first time. At the same time revenues are rising to $1.68 billion while the bottom line is still one of loss - or around -$159 million this quarter - slightly down year-on-year.
In Q1 I also discovered a limit to Spotify’s capabilities that did not impress me much - the maximum 10,000 tracks you can download to your mobile devices. I for one am accustomed to having a large mobile music library and I was forced to move away from iTunes as Apple kept scrambling and wrecking my playlists - twice or three times I had to spend several months rebuilding my playlists. As a result, I spent some time getting acclimatised to the VOX Music Player - but that solution however pretty it is, is vastly under-developed still with various parts of the supposed standard functionality working haphazardly or not at all. I gave up on trying to move across all my music library to VOX - for reasons I mentioned in my sort of review of the Vox Player - in fact I could never get the playlists to sync to my iPhone at all.
So I turned to Spotify in the end - which I was delighted to find could host my various own music files / playlists, and let me upload to my iPhone along with Spotify’s own albums and playlists. I have been gradually building up the collection to the level it was on iTunes before it all went sideways/pear-shaped - and I hit a snag! When attempting to download a newly release album - I got that ’You’ve reached your limit’ text totally out of the blue - no pre-warning. I’ve since looked to see if there is a dashboard somewhere which shows you how many tracks you’ve downloaded / how many you have left - but there is none of that either.
You need to arbitrarily delete albums from your collection until you have cleared enough tracks to be permitted to upload the new content to your device. There are lots of things wrong with this in my opinion - even if it’s just 1% of people who have reached the limit - that’s still 1 million customers! And in the light that Spotify are not meeting their profit expectations - why can’t they have a ’top-up’ rate for those that want/need more extensive collections - I would be happy to pay more - and hopefully more money would then flow to Spotify and those relevant artists.
As it is - the whole of that ’Reach Limit’ function is just really poorly executed every which way - there should be some sort of dashboard that shows you what your limit is and you should get a warning when you’re about to breech it. (would also be cool if Spotify could recommend album with same number of tracks that you might wish to replace!). I was having to keep on deleting and re-arranging playlists on iTunes which is what got me into this trouble - and to have to do the same sort of juggling on Spotify just devalues what is otherwise the greatest music streaming service currently available.
I think most of the things Spotify does are exceptional - this 10,000 limit thing though is a real downer - and something of a lost opportunity too!