Announcing Our New Campaign of the Month: Spotify

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Spotify is one of the leading music streaming services currently available, offering a range of subscription options (both free and paid) on desktop and mobile platforms. The good news is that their iOS app is mostly accessible. The bad news is that Spotify's Mac app is inaccessible and their web player has a number of significant issues when used with a screen reader. As a result, using Spotify on your Mac Desktop or laptop are not viable options for those of us who rely on VoiceOver. If you want to use Spotify, it's essentially on your iOS device or nothing ... and that's going to cost you a premium!

In this case, that 'premium' is a $9.99 monthly subscription to Spotify's top tier account, as this is the only account which offers full access to their music streaming service on mobile devices. However, you will still find accessibility issues with the iOS app. You also won't be able to use Spotify on your desktop - and, bear in mind, Spotify market and price this account on the basis that it gives you access to their service on all platforms. 

So, in this campaign we are urging Spotify to address the outstanding accessibility issues present in their iOS app and make their Mac app and web player accessible with VoiceOver.

You can read more about the accessibility problems here.

We are asking that you support our latest campaign and urge Spotify to provide blind and low vision users with fair and equal access by ensuring that their service is accessible on all supported platforms, and that they do so as a matter of some urgency. Not only would this be a good commercial decision, but it would also simply be the 'right' thing for them to do.

Simply submit this pre-filled form to have your request mailed directly to Spotify. Please note that you will need to be registered and logged-in to the AppleVis website to access and use this form.

As always, the more people who support our campaign, the more likely it is that Spotify will listen. So, do please spare the few moments that it takes to add your support.

For more information on this and past campaigns, please visit the main Campaign of the Month page. On that page, you will also be able to nominate apps for future campaigns.

Blog Tags: 

11 Comments

#1 just fyi

There is definitely an accessibility issue with spotify used on a computer. Until spotify decides to change this, I do want to let users of jaws know that there are scripts available for the spotify desktop application for the pc. The scripts can be found at www.spotifyblind.com While I think it would be best if spotify made there program accessible, there is a solution available, at least for jaws users until they change things.

#2 I'm pretty sure my friend

I'm pretty sure my friend uses the Spotify app and does not pay anything, though I could be wrong. Are you absolutely sure there is no way to use any features of the service whatsoever via the app for free after the 30 day trial period?

#3 What you can do for free

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Mike,

This is what Spotify say on their support pages:

How do I get Spotify for my mobile?
The mobile apps are free, and some versions can be used for playing your own music files, but you will need Spotify Premium to take advantage of fully-featured Spotify mobile streaming and offline mode.
Android, iPhone (and other iOS devices)
The Spotify mobile app for these devices can now be accessed by all Spotify users. The apps can play local files that have been synced using the Spotify desktop application. Spotify Premium is still required in order to take advantage of full-featured Spotify mobile streaming and offline mode.

#4 I normally love what apple

I normally love what apple vis does but this campaign to me is a waist of time and effort. I mean come on. I say if you have the 9 dollars pay it and use the service. There is no such thing as a free lunch and we will not always get something for nothing. I think we should pay the company the 9 dollars a month and if they do make the free one accessible,way to go for them, but I personally have over 700 gigs of music in my growing collection that I don't' listen to anymore, so I'm not all that worried, but remember, let's just forget about this campaign and worry about government apps such as pages and office for iPhone, if that does exist, and if it does not, and if it comes to fruition, then let's worry about that, not some music service that might not last a while.

#5 Disagree with Mary

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

I completely disagree with you Mary, sorry :) While productivity apps are of corse important, apps like this are important to a lot of people too. I for one really want to see improvements to Spotify, which is a hugely popular service. I've sent my form, though I'm not absolutely happy with the emphasis of the provided text, so I edited it a bit. For me it's too positive about the iOS app, and over-emphasises the fact that blind users are forced to pay the premium price. Most people I know do pay the premium and I would be more than happy to do so too, I just expect to get the premium service too! But anyway, I hope everybody gets behind this campaign so that we can convince Spotify that accessibility is worth their while. Thanks for organising the campaign.

#6 Worthwhile Campaign, but Too Much Emphasis on Cost

This campaign has been needed for a long time, and I was happy to contribute a request for improved accessibility to Spotify. But the tone of things could be better, as it may appear to Spotify that the visually impaired community is concerned about paying for the service. That issue should be downplayed, to focus more heavily on the necessity for full accessibility. I thank those who started this campaign, as I believe that accessibility for all apps is important. Productivity and work-related apps are only a part of a life lived to its maximum potential, and I'm glad that Applevis recognizes the needs of those who use apps for educational, recreational, and other pursuits.

#7 Draft message v1.1

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

We did tweak the draft message earlier today to stress that it isn't simply about not wanting to pay and to point out that there are still issues with the iOS app that should be fixed. However, there is still no getting away from the fact that we do not have equal access to their service. This is hardly a rarity, but in this case it is exacerbated by the fact that the only accessible option also happens to be the most expensive one. And, if you do choose to pay for the Premium subscription, it is only reasonable to expect that you will be able to access all of the features and functionality which that offers. Of these, access to their service on all platforms (not just iOS!) is going to be right at the top of the list. It's certainly a key feature in terms of Spotify's marketing and pricing of the Premium subscription. We also shouldn't forget that there will be those who only want to use Spotify on their desktop or laptop. Right now, this is simply not an option if you use a screen reader.

#8 Well now that you put it that

Well now that you put it that way I agree, how ever I read it as Oh we poor blind people, we don't want to pay for yoru service so give it to us free. if I mis read that then how many others did as well. You might want to change that message as well.

#9 I'm all for more access, but this is ridiculous.

Although I'd love for Spotify to focus more on accessibility, I don't feel that I am being forced in any way to have their premium account. Using JAWS scripts, I am able to use the free PC version and on the Mac side, there are third party plugins that seem to open up a number of possibilities. Although I'd certainly sign a petition to try and get some focus on accessibility, the way this is worded is just wrong. Spotify doesn't require me to have their premium account any more than Microsoft requires me to purchase expensive screen readers, Rhapsody requires me to purchase an iOS device or mobile carriers require me to purchase an iPhone. I make a conscious choice to do these things, not because I have to, but because they make my life easier and more enjoyable. I'd love to see Spotify do "the right thing," but not simply so I can get out of paying for their premium account which, were I sighted, I'd likely pay for anyway.

#10 I'm paying for premium

App Developer

I'm sighted and has been paying for premium for 5 years. I think too that this topic is titled in wrong way. I too need to pay if I want to use their mobile version and has been doing it happily because the service is so good. The real message should be "please, make your app accessible also in mac os and windows, we can help you testing it to make it perfect on all platforms you support".

#11 Ah men to that. That's what i

Ah men to that. That's what i said in my comment to this campaign that is in my opinion pointless and worded very very wrongly. I talked to other people and they are uninstalling spotify as it does not offer that grate of a selection of music, plus there are about a dozen or mores streaming services out there. Why not forget about spotify and use those instead?