Spotify has grown at a breakneck pace since its inception in 2006, transitioning the music industry away from physical sales and purchased downloads and into the world of streaming. It has over 400 million users for a reason—and it’s an extraordinarily easy method to enjoy music regardless of your location.
Having said that, Spotify is far from flawless. There are numerous reasons why you might not want to utilise the service, including the presence of questionable content, unequal artist compensation, and a lack of functionality.
The following are all of the reasons why you should avoid using Spotify.
1. You Are Not the Owner of Anything
While Spotify does provide a free membership option, it is largely used to entice users to upgrade to a paying membership. However, even if you pay for Spotify, you do not own any of the content.
In essence, you pay for a temporary license to access the music. Spotify or its artists have the right to remove songs at any time, and you have no recourse. Likewise, if the service has an outage or is ever completely shut down. This is in contrast to, say, purchasing a vinyl record, which you possess in perpetuity.
2. Music Not Included in the Catalogue
Spotify promises to host over 82 million tracks. That is a lot of music, but it does not mean that you will find what you want. Spotify contains gaps, particularly in older music, classical compositions, and remixes.
Additionally, music may not always remain on Spotify. At the time of writing, Spotify was lacking Joni Mitchell, India Arie, and Neil Young. Taylor Swift notably withdrew her music from Spotify in 2014, albeit she later overturned the decision.
3. Infuriating Advertisements for Free Users
If you pay for Spotify, you receive an ad-free experience. However, to offset the cost of the free membership, Spotify intersperses advertisements with your music. That is entirely understandable—the service cannot be provided without limitations.
However, the frequency with which these advertisements appear, sometimes every two songs, is aggravating. Additionally, many users say that the level of these advertisements is louder than the music.
Additionally, the free tier only plays music on shuffle (with the exception of some playlists), which undermines the carefully planned experience of listening to an album from start to finish.
4. There is no lossless streaming available.
Spotify said in February 2021 that it would add CD-quality audio to the service via a new HiFi tier, but that has yet to materialize. Spotify’s top audio quality is now 320kbit/s for paying customers.
Since then, the firm has been mum on the subject, other than to acknowledge in February 2022 that Spotify HiFi has been delayed due to licensing concerns. This is a sad scenario, given that both Apple Music and Amazon Music Unlimited offer lossless streaming for free.
5. Security Breach History
Over the years, Spotify has seen its share of security breaches and challenges. Several examples include the following:
- Spotify told some users in December 2020 that their personal information (including email, password, and date of birth) had been shared with some business partners.
- Spotify announced in May 2014 that it had been hacked, while it claimed that only one user’s data had been obtained. It rolled out an update to its Android app and compelled all users to install it.
- In March 2011, a Spotify advertisement automatically installed a bogus Windows Recovery program on users’ computers without them having to click on the advertisement.
6. Distributing False Information
Spotify courted controversy in early 2022 when it decided to sponsor Joe Rogan, a podcaster on its platform whose past shows contained COVID-19 falsehoods. While Spotify deleted some of the more upsetting incidents, a substantial number remained.
Spotify’s overall response to misinformation on its platform has been inadequate. Spotify introduced written content warnings to some podcasts, but they are easily missed and do little to halt the spread.
7. Insisting on Podcasts
Are you interested in listening to podcasts? No? Spotify is unconcerned. In some ways, Spotify is more concerned with podcasts than with music. If you listen to a single podcast on Spotify, episode recommendations flood your stream immediately.
Additionally, Spotify’s home screen prominently shows a podcast “Shows you may enjoy” section that you cannot delete or remove. This just implies that you must scroll further and search more in order to locate music.