“Why is Spotify not available in my country?” That’s what greets me when I visit the free, ad-supported, streaming music site. The answer is that “licensing restrictions” get in the way.
One of the selling point of the service, if free services can be said to have selling points, is the extensive catalogue. But that catalogue is changing, and not in a good way. It’s shrinking, at the insistence of record labels.
The changes are being made so that we implement all the proper restrictions that are required by our label deals… our agreements contain strict rules as to what tracks can and can’t be played in various countries… These restrictions are a legacy from when most music was sold on tapes and CDs and they have continued over into streaming music, our hope is that one day restrictions like this will disappear for good.
I got the news from TechCrunch, one of the sites that got me interested in Spotify in the first place. I’m now a little less interested.
By the way, I’m pretty happy with Lala. It has a pretty extensive catalog (making an appropriate switch to the US spelling now), free try-before-you-buy, and reasonable pricing once you decide you like.