Dear Spotify,

I have to admit, I am jealous. It’s not easy realizing my peak may have passed. For years I basked in my dominance of the music world, acting as the go-to application for music downloads, storage and organization. I was riding high on Apple’s continuous success, benefitting from the variety of products – iPods, iPhones, Macs – that chose me to handle their musical needs. Then I was innovative, adaptive. CD and MP3 players were kicked to the curb. I could organize an entire library of content any way the user may want – by artist, genre, date added, playlists, etc. What more could anyone need? I was a free service (well, other than the hundreds to thousands of dollars one would spend on the device) that offered the top tier of electronic musical ingenuity. I even allowed illegally-downloaded content on my system – very chill of me, right?

But then you came along. You changed everything, taking what I made commonplace and expanding upon it – showing me up. Now, when users go to open their music application of choice, their thumb travels to your round, green icon rather than my classic music note. My crisp white background is replaced by your, admittedly, sleeker black backdrop and more streamlined design. You were somehow able to transcend the Apple-sphere and become available to all smart phones and computers – something I will never be able to accomplish.

Your depth is undeniable; your appeal spans from Top 40 pop fans to self-proclaimed music elitists. There are a few artists who deny you their work, so I do have to brag about my access to Taylor Swift. But users can add almost any song imaginable to their personal library with the click of one small plus sign or the drag of a mouse, eliminating my purchasing and downloading “hassles.”

While my programming is all-inclusive, yours is dynamic. It pains me to admit this, but you can provide them with genre groupings and mood music in a way that I cannot. Not only do you make saving music easy, but you also make finding new artists or tracks so simple. How did you get so good at suggesting new artists? Or making track listings for pretty much any occasion? I used to run listening marathons of classic music for my user’s study sessions, now I am brushed aside in favor of your multiple “focus” playlists.

When I found out that users need Wi-Fi to listen to your playlists on the go, I was sure that I had you. Who would choose to use up all their data on some app when they could use me without the extra charge? Music is meant to be mobile. But then I realized that you offered Premium privileges, including off-line mobile listening for a very reasonable monthly rate. You really seem to have everything figured out.

But don’t let this praise go to your head. I am still the original; I still have loyal fans and a strong place in the music industry. When an artist has success with an album, they don’t say they reached the top of the Spotify charts. No, they say they reached #1 on my charts. You may be the new, hip kid on the block, but you have a long way to go.

Cordially, iTunes

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