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Hey and welcome back
Spotify is the most popular service for streaming music in the world, as well as in Italy.
It strikes deals with various artists, including small independent ones.
It also has agreements with large and small record companies.
As a result, it has a very large records collection and a user base of around 200 million people.
Of these, 120 million are not paying anything, whilst 70 million are subscribed to its services.
These latter enjoy ad-free music, and thus can listen to their favorite gangsta playlists
without interruptions reminding them that "the next 30 minutes are going to be ad-free" thanks to one of their sponsors.
Yet, the so called "sponsor" is often Spotify itself, trying to convince non-paying users to subscribe.
Spotify's model offers these two options:
(1) those who are not willing to pay for a subscription can listen to music freely.
However, they will be interrupted from time to time by advertisements, acted superbly.
They will also experience some restrictions in the mobile app
such as not being able to play a particular song, but only certain playlists
while they can only skip a song for a limited amount of times.
(2) Those who subscribe to Spotify's paid service for 10 Euros per month, 5 Euros for students
are not subjected to these restrictions. They can also stream music at a higher quality and, above all,
are not subjected to these restrictions. They can also stream music at a higher quality, and, above all,
they can download songs and listen to them offline, thus limiting their internet data consumption.
Personally, I would not be able to so,
as my phone's memory is constantly filled with trash that my friends send me
via Watts App.
I generally do not own a paid subscription to Spotify Premium.
Sometimes, when throwing a party or
when travelling, to avoid the confusion in airports (which I hate),
I have had a paid subscription.
However, my use of Spotify normally involves
listening to the same two or three songs while showering.
Hence, the free version is appropriate for me.
That is, despite being aware that Premium users are those that generate the real economic benefit for Spotify.
Paying users are the biggest source of income for Spotify and, actually, the company does not earn that much.
We already discussed some of the problems that the Swedish firm has in generating sustainable income.
This is due to the fact that Spotify has to pay substantial royalties to the artists.
According to the data that are available, Spotify earns between $0.006 and $0.0084 each time a song is played.
Big Money!
Analysts suggest this is one of the reasons why Spotify has not gone public in the stock market yet,
although this is scheduled to happen over the next few weeks.
Prior to its initial offering in the stock market,
Spotify has surprisingly decided to send an email to some of its users, who had opted for an alternative way of using its services;
that was to download apk files for a modified version of Spotify so that they could enjoy Premium benefits without having to pay for them.
Spotify informed them that this exploit was no longer available, in a rather sarcastic way.
"Dear user, we detected an anomaly on the app you are currently using,
therefore we have disabled it. Do not worry, your Spotify account is safe".
[Irony] Well that was nice of them, calling it an "anomaly",
[Irony] maybe this was the work of one of these so called hackers that we mentioned a lot these days.
Actually, users responded quite angrily to this move, judging by comments on Spotify's Facebook page, as well as on the App Stores.
Let's have a look at some of these comments:
"A new version will be launched in a couple of days, so that we can continue to abuse this service"
"My friend Luca will find a new version and we will sc**w you again..."
"D**k heads! I will never give you 10 Euros a month to listen to music!"
"You are just some rich s**ts who never feel rich enough. Piracy is the fight against you money grabbers"
Now, let's recap the issue.
A company offers a service (i.e.: Spotify Premium), which is not compulsory by any means.
Moreover, unlike other companies such as Apple, this firm also chooses to offer a similar service completely for free.
It's like saying: "Here are some apples on the table, which my men harvested.
Those who can afford to pay for them, please do so. Essentially, you will be paying for everyone's benefit.
Those who do not want to pay for them or cannot afford will have to listen to an ad every now and then.
They also cannot choose between red and green apples, just pick whatever is given to you.
You can still pick apples."
"However, some people just want to have it their own way. Hence, they grab all the apples and run away.
The apples seller then puts some security tags to prevent shoplifting.
Yet those people who ran away with the apples now call the seller a "thief".
In doing so, I also harm his business through negative reviews and bad word of mouth."
This sounds good, right? [Irony]
Now, I could understand if those people stayed quiet.
They are basically stealing from Spotify, at least they should avoid being outraged when caught.
They look like those that, when caught scamming other people by TV programmes
react by shouting things such as "You do not know who I am!".
Please, stop doing that.
Nobody deserves to be treated with such indignity.
It is definitely not about Spotify being greedy. The seller makes the price for the service.
If you do want to pay for it, then you do not buy it.
For instance, just because salmon is expensive, one is not authorised to steal it from a shop.
Also, the fact that salmon is expensive is due to a number of reasons,
and not because of some kind of conspiracy by the salmon lobby.
Furthermore, I disagree with the idea that one should not pay for art.
On the other hand, art is actually tomorrow's industry and source of jobs, along with knowledge and information media
especially now with the advent of industrial automation.
The work of authors, actors, directors, philosophers and musicians deeply influences and changes people's lives
by creating communities and fandoms and by inspiring the creation of more artistic work.
These pieces of work actually acculturate and improve people.
The claim by some people that these works should not be rewarded monetarily/paid for sends a message about them, doesn't it?
We value things such as steel bars, crockery, scissors, shoes
We value things such as steel bars, crockery, scissors, shoes.
These are worth "paying for", as well as the time and effort spent to generate the income we spend on them.
We feel that our efforts are always justified, yet we criticize the efforts of other people.
In a similar fashion, we decide that songs, TV series, books and video-games are not worth 10 Euros a month.
Despite that fact that often a given book read at a certain point in one's life,
or music listened to at the right time during the day, etc.
these things can actually change a person.
Or at least they can change you more than a crockery utensil worth $3.99.
People are happy to pay 8 Euros for a Mojito, or 5 Euros for a pack of cigarettes.
Yet, they do not want to pay for music, and if you ask them to, you are an a**hole.
Now, I do not aim to change the world.
I am also aware that those who claim that "they would pay for it if it were cheaper" are saying so merely to justify their behaviour.
Even if the service was, let's say, 5 Euros, some people would still complain and not pay.
Personally, I met wealthy people that would not even want to pay for the bus ticket.
I would like to reflect on this behaviors.
These people that do not want to pay for someone else's work,
are they the same who then complain about the job market not being willing to reward them appropriately?
are they the same citizens of a country where everybody complains about politicians and managers being greedy and dishonest?
A country where 1/3 of the people voted for a party that claims to be all about honesty,
while another 1/3 of people voted for parties promoting order and discipline.
First and foremost, let us impersonate the change we would like to see in others.
I can finally take the blazer off.
Here is a tip from your friend Shy Fashion:
Do not wear a chequered blazer with t-shirts that have graphics.
This kind of t-shirts should be worn with monochromatic blazers.
I am wearing this t-shirt as I recently saw that you guys liked this kind of style.
I sometimes forget to let new viewers know that, among other things,
I run a clothing brand that features elements from Sardinian folklore.
This latter is full of monsters, demons, legends and so on.
These are called "bundos".
Here is a picture where you can see many of them.
Here is another one where you see only one.
Sardinian folklore can be terrifying, I know.
Moving on, today there have been a lot of discussions regarding International Women's Day.
Today is International Women's Day. A massive strike took place today, along with a rally.
This was led by Italian feminist movement "Non una di meno" (Not one less).
As communicated by the feminist movement,
this demonstration is a way for women to refrain from not only professional work but also from personal as well as housewifely tasks.
Men can also join this demonstration to protest against gender-based discrimination, violence against women and other similar topics.
These topics are very hot at the moment and we hear about them on a daily basis.
They are also very debated, and give rise to more arguments than political debates.
The feminist association has suggested that those men that want to join the protest
can do so by taking care of those tasks that are usually performed by mothers, wives, fiances and daughters.
I would like to say two things about this:
First, I think that this demonstration is indeed legitimate.
I do not think it is appropriate to claim otherwise and describe this rally simply as an attempt of women to "show off".
All strikes and demonstration share a common aim to create discomfort to send a certain message.
This meaning is intrinsic to the etymology of the word "manifestazione" (ENG: demonstration).
Here in Cagliari, people actually brought drums at the demonstration.
I actually saw this in some friends' Instagram Stories.
In particular, I read about and was contacted by some people complaining about labour unions supporting this demonstration.
They claim that this kind of support actually discriminates against men, as men have rights too and also put their life in danger while working
I understand these claims, yet I do not agree with them
I see what they mean and their claims are legitimate,
however, in this case we are dealing with women protesting to draw attention on specific themes that affect them as such.
If you are not interested in these particular debates, I suggest you ignore them
and instead organise your own demonstration to discuss topics that affect your own existence
you could even have black jack tables and high-end escorts [irony].
For what concerns the issue of men that should join the protest by "taking care of tasks usually performed by their female partners",
once again, I see what they are trying to accomplish, yet I am not going to join.
In my case, I am not some kind of tyrannical father who cares only about himself, while my partner does everything for me.
This is definitely not my case.
I am aware that this scenario reflects the experience of a portion of women in this country.
However, this is not my case. Hence, I do not want to be blamed and labelled as such, simply because I am a man.
I am not fond of those kind of talks that first generalise and put a label on a certain category and only after recognise that there are exceptions.
Hence why I do not sympathize with the ideas that label all Mexicans that cross the border as drug dealers, or all Muslims that arrive on boats as terrorists, or all men as evil and violent.
Last, I wanted to present something softer just before the weekend
such as the people that went claiming for the basic citizenship income at the social security office in Apulia.
However, I wanted to touch on a very important topic before the weekend.
We may also deal this this later on.
That is the attempt to posion a former Russian spy in Great Britain.
Some actually claim that this was attempted by the Russian government itself.
Now, before I delve into details, I am sure there will be people supporting Putin
and they will say things such as that these are fake news, the accusations derive from Western hostility, that the USA has done similar things, and so on.
I accept that there many who sympathise with Putin on the Internet.
However, I believe this event actually sheds some light regarding what is happening around us.
It also reinforces some of the claims regarding Russia and international politics that have been around for a while.
If it is true that Russia is trying to weaken its ties to countries in Western Europe as well as the USA,
then there must be a reason behind this intent.
This is Sergei Skripal. He is 66 years old. He was poisoned, together with his 33-years-old daughter in London, where he lives.
It looks like someone approached them while they were sitting on a bench
and assaulted them with some kind of strong nerve agent.
The assailant then fled the scene.
Skripal, his daughter and the agent who tried to help them have all been hospitalised in critical conditions.
The investigation is being led by the anti-terrorism bureau, given the nature of the assault act, as well as that of the weapon used.
Skripal arrived in London in 2010 after a prisoners' exchange between the USA and the Russian Federation.
However, it is known that Russian secret services tend to adopt a rather hard line towards those that are considered traitors, such as Skripal.
In 2006, another former Russian secret service officer, Mr. Litvinenko, was poisoned with radioactive polonium, once again in London.
This latter event was relatively popular at the time,
and the concept of "polonium poisoning" became a rather popular citation, a bit like memes these days.
Litvinenko died after taking the polonium that was dissolved in his tea.
British secret services identified the man that was with him when this happened.
Again, there were strong suspicions that the actual instigator was the Russian government.
However, Putin denied any involvement and refused to extradite Mr. Lugovoy, who is still an active politician today.
Lugovoy is currently a member of parliament.
That event gave rise to great tension and attrition between Russia and the United Kingdom.
Moreover, no one can tell what is going to happen if Russian involvement will be confirmed also in this more recent homicide attempt.
These suspicions are enhanced by the use of this kind of poison, which is quite hard to obtain unless a person is tied to governments or wealthy organisations.
This is actually central to the debate.
It can be seen as an act of retaliation, signed with the use of this poison, while sending a message to the so called traitors.
Yet, no one is coming forward to claim responsibility for the act.
This is probably due to the fact that the perpetrators are certain that there will be no consequence for them
and that the UK would not have the strength to act on this.
Indeed, lack of action seems to be Europe's response to whatever Putin does lately.
We shall see what happens. In the meantime, the web is already making a mess of these events.
Moreover, now the UK cannot count on the EU for political support anymore.
This is indeed due to Brexit. Hence, good luck!
This was it for today, thanks for watching.
Tomorrow I will be live at 7 pm.
Make sure you guys subscribe and turn on notifications via the "bell" so that you can follow me saying "things" for an hour without taking a breath.
Dorotea is today's queen, while Giuseppe is the bishop.
They are clearly sponsored by the establishment.
The establishment being so strong that they could not even win an election [Irony].
The two took this picture in front of the ECB in Frankfurt.
Everybody but me is out there travelling. Yet, I'll forgive you this time in the name of Europeanism and the establishment.
See you tomorrow.