ONLINE music streaming service Spotify (www.spotify.com) has announced what it calls ‘a new direction’, although it’s one that will sound familiar. It’s called apps.
Spotify is something of a European success story. It offers free access to an enormous catalogue of 15 million songs, entirely legally.
The free service is backed by frequent adverts. To get rid of them, you have to pay a monthly fee of either £5 or £10.
With thousands of European users, Spotify recently launched in the US, helped along by a commercial deal with Facebook.
Now Spotify is turning itself into what it calls ‘a music platform’.
Anyone will be able to create apps that appear inside Spotify’s software and add extra features for users (of both the free and paid-for services).
Central to these apps is the catalogue. This vast database of music will be opened up to developers to build their apps on.
Some of the initial ones look up song lyrics or link with music tracking service last.fm, but the future could bring all sorts of new ideas.
Spotify boss Daniel Ek said his service is a great way of fighting illegal music piracy because it offers a great deal of music for a very low price.
“We’re getting people used to the idea again that music is worth paying for,” he said.
The apps will add more value and pull in more users.
The same idea worked for Facebook where apps have become hugely popular. They keep people on Facebook for longer which makes Facebook happy. And they’ve made a handful of developers rich.
As long as it can keep pulling in paying customers there might be similar opportunities for Spotify developers too.
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