Spotify goes even more corporate with $100 million in investments and new Campbell's collaboration

Everyone has different values and opinions when it comes to corporations; Some embrace super markets, big box stores, popular music, radio, and corporate products. Others do what they can to avoid all things corporate, giving preference to local and/or independent businesses. The biggest exception that I can think of would be electronics like computers, televisions, and smartphones. That goes for even some of the most staunch supporters of an anti-corporate consumer lifestyle.

Users of Spotify's free service are accustomed to visual ads plastering their desktop players as well as audio ads interrupting their playlists. According to a report from LA Times, Spotify recently has closed a round of funding for $100 million dollars from major corporations like Goldman Sachs, Fidelity Investments, and Coca Cola. Just a few days ago, Campbell's soup company announced a new marketing campaign partnering with social web culture news site, BuzzFeed; Angry Birds creator, Rovio Entertainment; and Spotify.

Campbell’s Go is collaborating with Spotify, a digital music service that offers users on-demand access to over 18 million songs, to develop custom playlists using the bold flavors of Campbell’s Go soups as inspiration. The partnership will enable users to create synergies between the music and the soup flavor - for example, a playlist of songs that are all about cheese will align with Campbell’s Go Creamy Red Pepper with Smoked Gouda soup. Each time a user listens to a song on Spotify, they will be rewarded with a coupon and gain access to the entire playlist.

via BusinessWire

Spotify's partnership with Campbell's has attracted criticism from many, most notably, Stephan Colbert.

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via Huffington Post

Corporations have been targeting young people for decades. This is nothing new. The 18-34 age group are trend setters; Apparently everyone older than that are just boring, old, uninspiring losers with nothing of value to offer the world besides their services, time, and money.

As a single parent, I don't go out to see bands or go to bars or clubs where most people hear and discuss new music in a social setting. Incidentally, I like to use streaming music services to discover music I haven't heard. I was once a subscriber of Spotify's paid services, but I didn't like that I had to set up playlists for everything. If I wanted to sort my Spotify music by artist and album I had to create a playlist folder with subfolders and manually bring every album into those lists. That's when I started using Rdio because it behaves like your typical music player, sorting music by artist and album.

If you use Spotify's free radio feature on your smartphone or tablet, you'll have your music interrupted by audio ads. The screen will be covered by an ad that you sort of have to deal with before you can hear more music. On the desktop, ads will play after several tracks, taking over the player and album art. These ads crop up periodically as you listen.


Rdio does not have a free radio player in its mobile app. For non-paid users of the app, all music is playable as short samples or teasers of each song. The desktop or browser players will not show ads while you're within your free music limit.


These are two different models used by content providers and software developers for encouraging people to pay for services: using ads to gain revenue while irritating the user until they choose to pay, or limiting functionality while reminding them how much better the paid service is.

All free services need to get their funding from somewhere. The differences however are where the funding comes from and the integrity of those sources as perceived by customers. Rdio has partnered with companies like The Echo Nest and CD Baby. Those companies are at least relevant and are much smaller than a giant like Coca Cola.

How much corporate influence do you permit in your lifestyle? How do you feel about Spotify's collaborations with corporate giants like Coca-Cola, Goldman Sachs, Campbell's and others? Is corporate influence just part of modern culture or is it going to far?