Spotify is a free music player, that allows you to play almost any song by any artist, any time. They have apps and programs available for Mac, PC, tablets, and phones. If you are familiar with the online video-streaming service Hulu, this is the same concept except instead of streaming movies and TV shows, you are streaming music. They offer a variety of services including free and premium, each with their own bells and whistles.
With the free service, you can play any song in their library, any time on a computer or tablet. You can shuffle playlists and play stations on a mobile device (similar to Pandora), but with the free subscription you can’t play any song on-demand with mobile. Also, as with most free services, you have to endure ads every few songs and you have no control over which types of ads play and when.
With the premium service you can play any song, any where, any time, including when you’re offline. Think of this service as “music rental.” You pay the monthly fee (2 tiers available) and get access to a huge library of music you can play at any time. With the premium service you also get that music ad-free.
The flourishing popularity of Spotify grants children’s ministries even greater means of connecting with children and families. Here are 3 ways that you can begin using Spotify to minister to others:
1. Introduce kids to positive, Christian music.
Let’s face it; for most families, mainstream music is what is being served to the ears of kids and adults. Finding music that children and adults both enjoy can be a challenge. Fortunately, Spotify makes this a bit easier by allowing you to not only listen to a multitude of songs and artists, but by also suggesting other artists that are similar to your favorites. In love with TobyMac’s music? Visit his Spotify profile and click “Related Artists” and you’ll likely find other artists you will relish. This feature will help you to become familiar with what is popular in the Christian music universe and advise children and families on alternatives they will enjoy.
2. Play music for large group settings.
Children’s ministry large groups should be teeming with energy. Playing the right music can launch that energy to the next level. Install Spotify on a device connected to your sound system and watch as the mood of your environment will change in an instant. The benefit to using Spotify, over CD’s or another method, is that you can control what children hear and can set the mood, artist, genre, etc. to anything you want! They even have numerous albums of sound effects, which make perfect additions to your storytelling.
TIP: If you are going to play music for your children’s ministry, I suggest signing up for one of the premium plans to avoid ads playing that are not suitable for children. Besides, ads playing in the middle of your energetic large group can definitely be a buzzkill.
3. Develop playlists for families.
Another useful feature of Spotify is that it has a built-in social network and people can connect it to their Facebook accounts. Through this integrated network, Spotify users can subscribe to playlists that others build. This means that you can build a playlist of songs that you recommend or that you are listening to/using in your children’s ministry and allow families to subscribe. Any time you make changes to the list your subscribers will be able to see those changes. You can build multiple lists for preschool, elementary, and preteen families.
Find out more about Spotify’s features, plans, and pricing by clicking here.
Do you use Spotify in your children’s ministry? Have you thought of any creative ways to use it? Share with others by posting a comment below!