Beyond Spotify: the experts' vision for the future of music listening

In Bloom

If you are going to tackle Spotify head-on, though, you need a game plan. is one service that thinks it has got this.


Restricting track downloads not features is the key to

Its idea is that instead of restricting parts of the service through subscriptions, it merely restricts the number of songs that can be downloaded on to a device.

Launched in 2013 is mobile only and currently offers subs from £1 a month, where a user can download 20 songs to their phone to listen to, changing the songs as many times as you like within the month - as long as you adhere to the 20-song download limit.

"There is a $25bn app economy at the moment and we need to get people paying for content even if it is a small amount," said Thong Nguyen, co-founder of Bloom.

"We need to make products that are useful to people. Restricting things is crazy – we chose to restrict the amount of tracks and not the amount of time they can listen to these tracks. We are competing against free and illegal services, we have to remember this. You have to make it easy for people to pay."

Google Play Music

Google Play Music is here but what about YouTube?

With the music industry in such a state of flux, it does feel that another company can come in to disrupt things once more. Whether this is an app like Bloom remains to be seen but there is thinking that a company much bigger may well change the music landscape as we know it.

That company is Google. It's not yet revealed what it is going to do with YouTube background listening on mobiles, but when this does come into force there is no doubting that it will change things - or at least ruffle a few feathers.

"Background listening will change YouTube from a discovery service to a consumption service," said Ministry of Sound's Martin Kummer.

"Google will charge for this as the premium tier is usually mobile - the only one that isn't like that is Sounddrop."

How this will work with Google Play Music is not yet known. But with the whole industry watching, it will be interesting to find out.

Marc Chacksfield

Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.