Jay Hoffmann

Books, movies, and code

A Tale Of Two Ecosystems: On Bandcamp, Spotify And The Wide-Open Future | NPR

As Ek makes clear, even the COVID pandemic can be put to use by Spotify’s strategy, as can the death of an existing medium for music, “linear radio” (more commonly known as “radio”).

The business model of the Internet is interesting. There is no rule, for instance, that tech companies “move fast and break things.” Nor that growth at all costs is a reasonable goal or that a simple exchange of payment for goods or services is not possible. And yet, business on the Internet often follows the path of Spotify rather than Bandcamp.

There is an interesting history of both platforms in this piece (one tidbit: Bandcamp’s success came, in part, from people searching for music plus the word “limewire,” but opting to go to Bandcamp’s site and just paying for it. People want to pay for their music, seems to be the lesson, they just want it to be easy). But it is also a commentary on the ethos of popular web platforms. A world in which a company like Bandcamp, with its focus on tangible things like people and music, will never be able to compete with Spotify, with its focus on users and audio.