Spotify – the newest online music streaming service

Spotify music service comes to the US after successful experience in Europe. Will it be of benefit to indoor cycling instructors? Thanks to the handful of ICA members who emailed me with information about Spotify! It certainly is something we need to keep our eyes on as a potential time (and money) saver in the area of music for our indoor cycling and Spinning® classes.

Spotify has hit the United States after a few years of big success in Europe. What is Spotify? It’s a streaming music service that has millions of tracks available to play over your computer or mobile phone.It has enjoyed a few years of big success in Europe and recently became available in the US. I imagine after the US, it will become available in other areas (Asia, Australia/NZ, South America, etc) – that is, if their music laws allow for these types of services.

It’s very simple to get started. The free version requires an invite but to get one all you have to do is ask on the Spotify website. I don’t think they are limiting free memberships

The free version comes with ads (which can get annoying if they’re anything like the ads in the other streaming music services I’ve used before). Without ads is $4.99 a month and full mobile streaming (using your mobile phone in addition to your computer) is $9.99. This page allows you to compare the three products.

You can create a playlist, and create a link to it and invite others to have access to it if they subscribe to Spotify. It’s easy to use Facebook and Twitter to share your playlists with others. You an also create collaborative playlists where different people can add songs – the ultimate social networking playlist!

I can see how this could be very convenient and fun for indoor cycling instructors. If I can get myself going on Spotify (added to my overflowing plate…but this could be very helpful to you guys so I’m committed to trying it) I can see it as very easy for you all to use my exact playlists for the profiles I provide. All you have to do is click on the link, sync the playlist to your smartphone (as long as we’re on the same WIFI network apparently – gotta check into this) and you can use that playlist for your class.

The downside is that you can’t edit any of the songs with Mixmeister or other editing software. You don’t “own” the songs, they don’t take any space on your hard drive – you are just listening to them whenever and wherever you want.

Here is a comparison of the top 5 music services including Rhapsody.

If anyone has any experience with Spotify, especially if you have used it to share playlists for your Spinning or Indoor Cycling profiles, please tell us about it.



  1. Living in Sweden I have used Spotify for ages (the all thing is Swedish) – seen from my perspective it is one great way to make music available everywhere. The connectivity with social media and the fact that it is remarkably simple to share links to individual songs or to entire playlists makes it wonderful… Jennifer, you could have three play-lists: one each for mainstream monday, timeless wednesday and friday favorites and just let them grow… and then for the profiles.

    At the gym chain where I work, we use Spotify to share the playlists of our own (prechoreographed) classes with our members (you can see it here, so participants can click on their favourite class and just listen to the music at home or on the run. Every now and then you run into a missing track, but then again, no system is perfect.
    I have heard of people that use spotify in class (both indoor cycling and other groupex forms) which I have never done. For me the big problem is the one that Jennifer points out: you cannot mix. Then one could possibly have concerns with the licensing of music streaming from Spotify. On the upside, if one is going to do it, and you have a paid account, then you can run in off-line mode, which means that you actually download the entire playlist on you computer (or phone) so that you do not need to care about the quality of your internet connection.

  2. This could really be a lot of fun 🙂 Thanks for explaining what Spotify is!

  3. Hi Jennifer,

    Just wanted to give you more info on the WiFi issue. On Spotify premium when you sync your computer library and your mobile device (IPhone or Android) then both of those devices must be on the same WiFi network (ie. your home network, office network, etc.). If you click on links to other’s shared playlists you can get those by just signing into Spotify – anywhere. You don’t have to be on their WiFi network.

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