NPR has a great piece comparing Spotify to Bandcamp: A Tale of Two Ecosystems.
Spotify embodies the VC model: not really profitable and and becoming so hinges on basically the entire planet becoming a Spotify user. For artists it’s also a losing proposition. All but the most popular are making pennies.
Bandcamp is a place to buy music. It’s profitable, and even small time artists make decent money.
Spotify is about mindless engagement. Bandcamp is about mindful curation.
This is precisely the point I wanted to make about too much UX being bad design. Spotify will win all the UX awards, but I see it as a fundamentally flawed product. The VC types scoff at Bandcamp, yet it’s created real wealth for itself and artists.
I suppose the difference is ideological. The Bandcamps are digital tools in the real world, the Spotifies are all about fantasy separated from the real world.
Anyway, I decided to stop streaming awhile back and instead buy an album or two every month. Why not buy from Bandcamp? This month’s purchase: Kaleidoscope, a collection of experimental music from Ukraine.