Recently I've been on a kind of Spotify kick, using the service to play music when I'm out of the house and away from the "comforts" of my external hard drive and way-too-expensive headphones. It's helped me rediscover some old favorites too, music that I love but either never attained a copy of or no longer own.
In my honest opinion, Spotify is pretty good at what they do. While some people might not approve (for a variety of reasons, big or small), they manage to stock such a large database of all kinds of music that it's a veritable rival for your local record store and iTunes both. Sure, there are advertisements (paying, however, will eliminate them), and you can't download tracks to play just anywhere, but you're still able to listen to whatever is available, whenever and however often you want (as far as I know there is no limit). It is, therefore, extremely convenient, and even I, myself, the obscure-music-obsessed audiophile "snob," has succumbed to its appeal.
It is this convenience that has hooked many other music fans, too. They understand how great a service Spotify is, and they use it because of its ease of use and expansive collection of albums.
A part of me, however, kind of wonders what the next big thing will be. Back five or six years ago, in order to stream music online with the kind of flexibility offered by Spotify, you had to pay 15 or so dollars a month for Lycos Rhapsody or similar such service. But now, in 2013, for there to be access to millions of songs, available whenever you want them, makes me think that it can't get much better in the future. Though I've been proven wrong in the past, I just can't think of a greater level of flexibility and convenience than what's being offered today. And if someone is able to offer better, I'd be interested to know what it legally and economically entails. Copyright law and industry profits are being tinkered with all the time, but they also seem to be in constant jeopardy these days.
What do you think? Love to hear your thoughts. :)