updated 11:10 pm EST, Tue November 29, 2011
Spotify to add music content apps
Spotify's Wednesday special event will be all about adding an app-like platform, according to new details. An "app finder" would come to the jukebox app, the Wall Street Journal said, and let users add functionality to the normally barebones software. Mimicking the iOS App Store, it would bring in third-party developers but would see apps vetted for compatibility and "other criteria."
Apps would be free, and they would be available both to those on the ad-supported free service as well as those on the paid Unlimited and Premium plans. They would only work on the desktop app for now. Smartphones likely wouldn't get support other than for playlists generated by the apps, in part because app policies might prevent an internal app store.
Among the examples would include a review browser, a song lyric display, and a list of concerts, with ticket purchasing, from artists inside the listener's playlists.
The move would be an attempt to keep ahead of companies like MOG and Rdio that have both dipped into free listening options now that Spotify is competing with them in the US. It would also provide an alternative to services that don't directly compete with Spotify's subscription model but which are edging closer in features, such as the cloud access and storage of Apple's iTunes Match and of Google Music.
Apps are a relatively new concept for music stores and apps, many of which have a fixed feature set or only support a handful of plugins, such as Apple's support for extra visualizers.