Going Viral

It may not feel like it to some of us, but Autumn is upon us. Now, this does mean that a few of our favorite things return to greet us like pumpkin-spiced God knows what, trees changing to spectacular shades of orange and gold, and, my personal favorite, Halloween. However, Autumn does mean the return of some seasonal evils: UGG boots, family gatherings, the common cold and influenza. With all of this crap soon to be flying around in the air, it’s important to get vaccinated, take especially good care of your health, and avoid getting an infection or virus at all costs.

If only Spotify had taken this advice sooner.

Recently, the internet has been sounding off via tweets and complaints to anyone who will listen about the recent problem with Spotify’s freemium streaming: ads infected with malware have crept their way into the freemium ad lineup. These infected ads don’t even require user engagement to activate; by just being played by a computer system, the ads can trigger a series of malfunctions that leave your computer with detrimental damage. Right now, all who have freemium access to Spotify are currently facing the decision to either uninstall their Spotify from their systems or upgrade to the Premium edition.

Personally, I’m disappointed. I’m a college student, so I don’t have that much money; I have to be judicious about where I put the money I do have. I am also a huge fan of music, but I’m not in a position, currently, where I can pay to listen to it, so freemium is my best ooption. And, yes, Spotify is my freemium streaming of choice.

However, I do see where things could play to some advantages for me and some other parties:

  1. Spotify knows it’ll be taking some losses from freemium customers, like myself, who choose to go on hiatus. A lack of freemium customers means a lack of people willing to consider the premium version. Once these issues are cleared, Spotify is going to want to give customers incentive to come back or join for the first time. Consumers may be expecting some rewards, upgrades, or updates to freemium Spotify when all is said and done. Here, the consumers win.
  2. For all we know, these viruses and infected ads may end up boosting Premium subscriptions via people who still want Spotify but would rather listen on a safer version. Here, Spotify wins.
  3. If I were working for Apple Music, Pandora, Sound Cloud, or any other streaming service, I would totally be selling my alternative streaming service and spreading rumours about Spotify. This is indubitably a flaw in the streaming giant’s armor. Now is the perfect time for alternative streaming services to boost their freemium and paid subscriptions by swooping in and taking Spotify’s estranged freemium community. If they can market themselves well enough, the other streaming services win.

Being misanthropic as I am, I can’t help but wonder if these infected ads somehow rose from foul play by a competing streaming service, desiring to lure people from the green light of Spotify  and into the abysmal sea cave where they run [insert streaming company here].

If this is, indeed a cyber attack on Spotify, get ready, kids! There will be more to come! However, there is also a highly likely probability that this is just the first time we as a society realize that online streaming services are also capable of contracting malware; given that outcome, if mighty Spotify can fall, so can any other streaming service. Regardless, I do foresee a restructuring of web security in Spotify’s future so they can keep their freemium subscribers. However, if there are indeed intelligent people working in the advertisement of the music business, promotion of streaming services should become more aggressive and translate more into a positive light for all companies to attract disgruntled subscribers and new clients. In addition, biting remarks and detracting statements should also increase as a means by which people are convinced that their old way of freemium is ridiculous compared to this new, shiny, golden option.

If you’d like to read the article that prompted this update, click here.

Once again, this has been the view from 214.




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