The Student News Site of Taipei American School




Spotify spotted in Taiwan


Audiophiles, good news! From this day forth (since September, actually) – you will no longer need to download music onto your iPhones, iPads, or iPods. Spotify is here, filled with all your favorites from local Taiwanese to foreign music artists. Desktop streaming is free, allowing users to listen to ten hours of free music per month. “Unlimited” users, for only NT$149, will have unlimited music and content access. The third option, the premium package, offers ad-free track streaming for desktops and mobile phones, and includes offline playback, where users can access their Spotify playlists, even without Internet access.
One of the largest streaming providers in the world, Spotify, a Stockholm-based music streaming company, boasts 24 million active users worldwide, with six million paid subscribers. Since September 24, Spotify has been released in numerous countries worldwide, including Argentina, Greece, and Turkey.
Even with all the excitement due to the availability of a new streaming app in Taiwan, the island already has native streaming applications – specifically, KKBOX. KKBOX, which has 10 million users and has strong ties with many Mandopop labels, has more of an influence in Taiwan due to its diversity of product offerings. It hosts live events on its platforms, which allow users to listen to their favorite celebrities select tracks while chatting with loyal listeners.
Nevertheless, it’s a very good app for people to have on their phones and computers. With new labels and tracks from off the island, Spotify will surely become very popular here. Personally, I love online or genre-specific stations (such as Pandora) but many are not available in Taiwan. With Spotify now available, it will surely be a suitable alternative not just for me but also for those who are attracted to genre-specific online radio stations.
For those of you who are new to Spotify, it’s a really simple playlist-based program. Love indie rock? Well, Spotify allows for you to create a playlist dedicated to certain themes, eras, or artists. Not only can you create your own playlist, you can share it with the rest of the Internet, allowing other listeners to see what songs you are enjoying at the moment. And vice versa – you can listen to the playlists that other people have compiled! For me, this is one of the best ideas in this century, as I absolutely HATE making my own playlists – the process of finding the music, listening to it to make sure it’s right, and then manually putting it into my own playlist is tedious. With this feature, I can just take the playlists that other people have made, and then just listen to them. Absolutely no sweat for lazy people!
There are two available listening methods, through the web streaming website (, or by downloading the program as an application. However, beware – the application version of Spotify uses peer-to-peer transferring automatically, so it can eat up some of your bandwidth without you noticing. I highly recommend web streaming over the application.
So what are you waiting for? Go make your playlist NOW!

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