Spotify joins the apps business: unveils new music app platform


Spotify is now an app platform. At an event in New York today that is ending now, Spotify CEO and Founder Daniel Ek revealed its newest plan to edge out its streaming rivals: apps. As Facebook and so many other services are slowly doing, Spotify is planning to allow developers to make custom apps that interact with its streaming music service.

Examples of apps that could appear on the service include an app that displays song lyrics, a concert app, a ticketmaster-like app that lets you buy concert tickets or merchandise, and many others. The first apps shown were, Tune Wiki, Billboard, Fuse, Rolling Stone, The Guardian, Sounddrop, ShareMyPlaylists, Fuse, Songkick, Dagbladet, We Are Hunted, Gaffa, Top10, Moodagent, and others.

Developing apps

Currently, all of the apps will be free and available on both the free and paid versions of Spotify. New apps can be developed in HTML5 using Javascript API and anyone can become a developer and submit apps. Like Apple and Google, Spotify will approve all app submissions to their app store. Interestingly, the apps will only initially work on the desktop client.

The new app store will be available from an app section that will now reside on the left column, pushing down your library and playlists. Clicking on “App Finder” opens up the app store.

The new apps will be available on Spotify’s Web site starting today for those who wish to try them out in beta. 

Some apps shown

  • The app was demonstrated on stage. The app appears to fully integrate’s music catalog with the Spotify service, which may mean more tracks will be available.
  • TuneWiki was also shown. This app lets you see the lyrics of a song as it plays. You can fast forward through a song and the lyrics will progress with you, making it a great app for Karaoke.
  • Songkick allows you to see local concerts and buy tickets from within the Spotify app.
  • Spotify is also eating its own dogfood. Ek showed off some new core features in Spotify that were built off the new app platform. One feature allows you to instantly listen to whatever your friends are currently listening to through Facebook. 

“We have a lot more in the works. More than anything we’re looking forward to being surprised by our developers,” said Ek. “There will be things here that we can’t even imagine today. And the Spotify platform is going to make it even better with a burst of innovation.”  

Spotify’s growth

The CEO also shared some new stats on the success of Spotify. The service now has 15 million songs and is adding 20,000 new tracks a day. There are 10 million active users and 2.5 million of those users are paying subscribers. Spotify also made a point to say that its growth is helpful to the industry, pointing to the $150 million it has paid in royalties to the music industry and the decrease in piracy it has seen as Spotify has risen in Sweden: 33 percent of the Swedish population uses Spotify and that correlates to a 25 percent decrease in music piracy, according to the company.

A good direction?

We’ll have more on the new service as we test it out here at the event. What do you think? Is this the best direction for Spotify? The fact that you cannot use these apps outside the desktop client goes against the mission of Spotify to put itself everywhere. Those who use Spotify on mobile or Facebook will not have access to these apps.  A preview of the App Finder is available here

(Thanks to Andrew Couts who is with me here at the event.)


Step into Childish Gambino’s musical universe with the Pharos AR app

Childish Gambino seems to be on a mission to take over everyone's smartphones. Now you can experience his musical and visual universe through his new Pharos AR app, available on Android now and iOS soon.
Home Theater

No car? SiriusXM’s $8 a month streaming plan has everything but Howard Stern

SiriusXM is stepping into the streaming music ring with an $8 per month plan designed specifically for people who get their music via smartphones and smart speakers. It doesn't work on SiriusXM radios, and Howard Stern is extra.
Home Theater

Google brings ad-supported YouTube Music to its Google Home speakers

Hot on the heels of Amazon's announcement that it's adding a free version of its Amazon Music service to Alexa-powered speakers, Google is adding a free, ad-supported version of YouTube Music to Google Home smart speakers.
Home Theater

Amazon’s free Spotify competitor is here. Just ask Alexa

Just ask Alexa to play your favorite song. Amazon has launched a free, ad-based music streaming service to compete with Spotify's free tier on its popular Echo devices, aiming to bolster subscriptions to Amazon Music Unlimited.

Leaked memo: If your MacBook keyboard dies, Apple will fix or replace in one day

If your Apple MacBook keyboard is problematic, getting it fixed at a Genius Bar just got a lot easier. Apple has now mandated that its Geniuses repair or replace MacBook keyboards by the next working day.

In 2019, laptops are better than ever. Here are the best of the best

The best laptop should be one that checks all the boxes: Great battery life, beautiful design, and top-notch performance. Our picks for the best laptops you can buy do all that — and throw in some extra features while they're at it.
Product Review

Still waiting for a new Mac Pro? Corsair’s mini PC has all the power you'll need

With a modern 12-core Intel Core i9-9920X processor, Nvidia’s RTX 2080 Ti graphics, and 32GB of RAM, the Corsair One Pro is designed to woo creatives who demand more power from Apple’s Mac Pro. Like the Mac Pro, the best part of this PC…

USB drive issue blocks some PCs from receiving Windows 10 May 2019 update

A USB drive error resulted in some PCs being blocked from receiving the Windows 10 May 2019 update. Microsoft decided to block eligible PCs with USB drives or SD cards attached from getting the update until the error is fixed.

Free your digital memories, and frame them, with the best photo printers

Printed photos are experiencing a revival at the moment, but you don’t need to go to a special lab. Here’s our favorite options for making quality prints, from pocket-sized printers to wide-format photo printers capable of spitting out…

Nvidia agrees with Tesla’s take on self-driving cars, but corrects specifics

Nvidia vice president Rob Csongor agreed with broad statements by Elon Musk at Tesla's April 22 Autonomy Investor Day. Csongor then took exception to what he termed were inaccuracies about Nvidia's self-driving car chip.

Tablet or notebook? Our favorite 2-in-1 PCs give you the best of both worlds

If you can’t decide if you need a tablet or a notebook, then don’t bother. The best 2-in-1 laptops are both, and they can provide all the power you need. Check out our list for the best 2-in-1s for any user.

Amal and George Clooney want to change the world. Can Microsoft help?

Microsoft and The Clooney Foundation for Justice (CFJ) unveiled the TrialWatch app Thursday morning, a new tool in CFJ’s ongoing TrialWatch effort to shine a light on injustice in courts around the globe – which too often are simply…

These are the best 13-inch laptops you can buy right now

With so much choice out there, how do you know which are the best 13-inch laptops? They should have beautiful screens, long battery life, and remain light and portable. This is a list of our favorites.

These gaming monitors will transport you to another dimension

What are the best gaming monitors you can buy right now? We select five that are all priced under $900 packing premium technologies like G-SYNC and FreeSync, high resolutions, and fast refresh rates.