Spotify: Enlisting developers to help spread the music?


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On Wednesday morning Spotify will announce that it is open for business with Web developers and publishers who want to plug into the company’s vast music library of more than 15 million songs, according to two people involved in the pending press event.

Spotify, which has garnered more than 2 million U.S. users since launching its popular streaming service here in July, is hoping that Web publishers, such as music blogs, will use Spotify to stream songs on their sites -- and help Spotify reach even more potential customers, said one executive, who did not want to be named because the announcement is confidential.


Readers of an online article about new strains in bluegrass music, for example, might click on a Spotify module to listen to songs referenced in the story. Those who aren’t already Spotify customers would be prompted to register for its free service. Spotify would then have the opportunity to wean its new users off the free service, partially supported by advertising, to premium options that include a $4.99-a-month plan for ad-free service and a $9.99-a-month package that streams music to mobile devices.

Spotify officials declined to comment in advance of the company’s news conference in New York, scheduled for 9 a.m. Pacific.

Announcement of the Wednesday morning event has sparked widespread interest among the music digerati. Already there are a number of theories and guesses about what the Swedish-based company will unveil, including an option to buy song downloads, which is available on Spotify’s European service but not yet on its American counterpart.

If Spotify does decide to press play on the ‘buy’ button Wednesday, it would certainly help buttress the company’s argument that its service, which lets listeners stream all the ad-supported music they want for free for the first six months, does not cannibalize music sales. Instead, Spotify executives have insisted that music sales have gone up since the service’s launch in most of the 12 markets where it operates.

Executives familiar with Spotify’s event, however, said an MP3 store, similar to Google’s music store launched two weeks ago, is not the current focus. Spotify is much more concerned, they said, with getting as many people as possible to try out its music service. And that means seeding the service in as many places as possible for Web surfers to encounter Spotify and try it out.



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-- Alex Pham