Spotify introduces music apps

BIRD-16TH-JUNE-SPO_1659117b The first apps, introduced today, include reviews and playlists from music magazines such as Rolling Stone, concert information from Songkick and software that displays lyrics in time with songs.

At a press conference in New York, Daniel Ek, Spotify's chief executive, said it had opened up to third-party developers because "there’s really on that much that Spotify itself can do".

"We thought the true core of Spotify would be to make all the music available instantly," he said.

The firm already allowed third-party developers to build outside services based on its music streams, but this is the first time it has allowed their creations into the Spotify client. They will be "truly integrated", Mr Ek said, "both visually and in their functionality". They apps will be based on HTML5, an emerging version of the software code that underpins the web, which supports video and interactive elements.

All the new apps will be free, so users of Spotify's ad-supported service will be able to access them.

The approach is designed to turn Spotify into a platform for a wide array of music-based apps, just as Facebook plays host to hundreds of social games such as Farmville. The two services, dominant in streaming music and social networking respectively, are increasingly close partners; earlier this year Spotify announced that all its new members would have to have a Facebook account.

Unlike Facebook however, Spotify will vet all apps for quality and potential security threats.

Based in London, Spotify has grown quickly this year by expanding into the United States. Mr Ek said it now has 10 million users, 7 million of whom have joined since September. A quarter of the total pay for access to streaming music, allowing them to listen on smartphones as well as computers, and without interruptions for advertising.

Although it is legal and licensed, some in the music industry have complained that Spotify dos not pay enough in royalties.

"We pay every time someone plays a song," said Mr Ek. "We're paying out the vast majority of the revenues."

He said Spotify had so far paid out $150m to the music industry.

The Telegraph

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