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Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Carphone Warehouse launches rival to Spotify

Carphone Warehouse has today launched ‘Music Anywhere’, a subscription service that allows users to listen to their music011muiscALAMY_468x354 collection from their mobile device, without the need for their collection to be stored locally.  For £30 a year, the service makes a copy of their library in ‘the cloud’ so users can listen to their favourite tracks on the move and will even allow them to download their 500 most listened to tracks to their mobile device for times when there is no connection to the internet. But is this really a rival to services such as iTunes and Spotify?

Well if you don’t have enough storage on your mobile device for your entire music library, it solves that problem provided you have both and internet connection while listening and all the tracks you own are available in the ‘Music Anywhere’ library. But you still need to buy your music first and if you don’t have internet access you can only store your 500 most listened to songs, not great if you want to listen to something new.  Even a relatively small MP3 player or memory card for your phone will allow you to store than 500 tracks and is probably cheaper too.

Streaming service Spotify also allows you to take your music libraryspotify-android-playlist1-large with you on the move, though at £9.99 per month is around four times the price of ‘Music Anywhere’.  But before you ditch your Spotify Premium subscription in favour of Carphone’s offering, think about what extra’s you get from Spotify. 

First, not only does Spotify allow you to listen to your own music library while away from home you can also listen to any of the millions of tracks Spotify also has in its library without the need to go out and buy the CD first. I’ve been a subscriber for less than a year, but in that time have been able to enjoy music I don’t own, that had I bought the CDs would have cost many times more the price of a Spotify subscription. I can also download as many tracks as my phone will store from both my existing library and Spotify’s extended library.  So while I pay more for Spotify I get more in return and have no additional costs of buying music that I would have with Music Anywhere.

It seems to me that in an attempt to compete with the likes of Spotify while doing things a little different and cheaper, Carphone Warehouse have introduced a half hearted, incomplete product that offers nothing new but gives a cheap alternative to people focussed on price rather than value for money.

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