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Spotify

(i)

 

Learning(i)

Easy way to stream vast music collection; no content filter.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Aside from encouraging the arts through music, not much of a social message. With millions of songs available, messages in music will vary.

Violence

Site offers basically every genre of music, including some songs that reference gun violence, other violent acts.

Sex

Site features full gamut of music, so kids can access songs with sexual themes, references.

Language

If a song title, lyrics has a swear word in it, kids are able to search for it, find it, listen to it.

Consumerism

Contains ads unless using paid subscription.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Songs with references to marijuana, other drugs can be accessed.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that to use the Spotify digital music service, users have to log in with a username and password (or sign in with Facebook, where their listening activity can be published, if users opt for that). The service requires users to download an application onto their computer and listen from it. They can also listen via the app. The terms of service specify that users should be at least 13 and have parental consent. Song selections can't be filtered for language or content, and album covers, which may also include violent or sexual images, show when the songs play. Kids can follow friends and share playlists and favorite songs but will be subjected to ads unless they have access to a paid subscription.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • reading

Arts

  • music
  • rhythm
  • singing

Skills

Communication

  • listening
  • multiple forms of expression

Tech Skills

  • evaluating media messages
  • social media

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Free cloud-based music service can be a great way to connect and find out about new music. A lot of fun for music fans.

Learning Approach

Kids can discover new musicians by creating radio stations based on their favorite bands. Adding more content about the musical techniques, instruments, and other elements used to produce songs would increase the learning factor.

Support

Artist listings include a brief bio with career highlights and some music genre information.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • reading

Arts

  • music
  • rhythm
  • singing

Skills

Communication

  • listening
  • multiple forms of expression

Tech Skills

  • evaluating media messages
  • social media

Kids can create playlists, share tracks with friends who use Spotify, or receive suggestions based on song picks. As with any social media site or service, if kids and their friends use Spotify responsibly, it can be a great way to connect and find out about new music. (However, if kids are linked to strangers through Facebook or Twitter, Spotify offers them another way to talk.) This isn't a deep music site, but aspiring musicians can find friends' picks and artists' career bios. Spotify could just be the thing to help listeners find new artists to listen to along with their favorites.

This Learning Rating review was written by Erin Brereton

What's it about?

With SPOTIFY, kids can find and stream music by song title, album title, or artist; top chart ranking; or category. They can create themed radio stations, share their listening activity with Facebook or Spotify's community, or keep it private. The application also automatically syncs with iTunes or Windows Music libraries to let users access songs they've saved or downloaded. The free version of Spotify includes ads. The subscription version is ad-free, lets users download songs to play offline, and has a higher sound quality.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

With more than 20 million songs to choose from, the music selection -- which includes current hits and somewhat obscure titles from years past -- is unbeatable. Browsing and searching is really efficient, and users can customize their experience by creating stations or dragging and dropping their favorite tunes into a personal playlist. With the wide selection of stations and albums, there's something for (almost) everyone, whether a user likes gospel, heavy metal, or a completely different type of music. Podcasts and video episodes are available, as well.

Although there are two paid subscription options, you don't need to shell out a dime to find and listen to the music you like. Users who don't sign up for a paid subscription will have to listen to periodic ads -- but they're generally shorter and less annoying than traditional radio commercials. So what's the catch? Well, you have to download an application to use Spotify; and if kids are logged in through Facebook, they can share what they're listening to, though the default is set to off. Parents who are concerned about lyrical content should also know that teens using Spotify can easily search for and find songs with iffy subject matter, so they may want to supervise their kids' listening selections.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how your family feels about handling music. What kind of music do you parents say is OK to listen to? Are there any types of songs they don't think you're quite ready to rock out to yet?

  • This site encourages you to connect with your Facebook friends to share musical suggestions. Are there any risks or concerns with letting other people access your music playlists?

  • Music is a form of self-expression. How do you express yourself? What kinds of songs do you like, and what do you think the singer is trying to say?

Website details

Genre:Music
Pricing structure:Free to Try, Paid, Free

This review of Spotify was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 17 year old Written byJackieA March 5, 2012

Good music but wasn't what I expected!

I guess I should have known that nothing comes for free! Until I examined the site, actually through Wikipedia, I thought the ads were the way the site made money. So, unless I wanted unlimited access or no ads, I was o.k. I didn't realize that after a 6-mos. limit, you can only listen 10 hours a month and songs can only be played 5 times. Content can definitely be R-rated but that it did say so for each song if you pulled up an album. I arbitrarily picked ages 14-up...that would be up to parents. Also, I am just not going to pay $10 a month to listen to music.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Teen, 14 years old Written byTechn0boy96 November 26, 2011

Overall well designed with minor flaws

It's a great application, however requires a Facebook account. The best thing about it is the sharing and social aspect, it allows you to discover new music and share your own personal tastes.
Parent of a 9 and 11 year old Written bysamanthad1 July 23, 2015
LEARNING

Great app, not for kids.

I love Spotify and have the paid subscription. You do not need a fb acct to sign up. My biggest gripe is that there is very little editing of the songs like on the radio. You get the full curse word versions. I let my kids sign on using my login and they pulled up the songs they've heard many times safely in the car and BAM out blare the curse words. They won't be using it until there is a kid-friendly version.
What other families should know
Too much swearing

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