updated 02:31 pm EST, Thu December 6, 2012
Streaming service breaks 1 million US subscriber barrier
Spotify has revealed its long-rumored browser app, among other extras, at a press event in New York today. The event also saw the music service demonstrate their upgraded user experience, including Spotify Collections, music discovery, and social additions, as well as an announcement on an increased subscriber count and higher global active user numbers.
The new web-based player will mimic the desktop client in allowing users to search and play music from selected artists, can create playlists, and also uses the new features shown by the company at the same event. The Discover tab will offer up artist recommendations to users, and will go out of its way to explain why it believes you will like the artist, complete with a biography and web reviews of songs and albums.
Collections will effectively replace playlists, and work by bundling together music into one mass, be it by artist, track or genre, with Spotify offering up tracks not only specifically included in a collection, but also related tracks. The social aspect this time is Follow, where users can follow friends, bands and celebrities, and listen to music they themselves collected or recently listened to. Follow also has push notifications in the mobile app, allowing users to send Spotify updates to friends for new track or album releases.
CEO Daniel Ek took time out from the new additions to say about current user numbers and other statistics. Active user numbers have doubled in the last year to 20 million globally, of which a quarter are paying subscribers. Out of that 5 million, one million subscribing users are located in the US, which leads Ek to call the service the biggest streaming platform in the US. The userbase has also created over one billion playlists, of which, 4.7 million are entitled "Love." Royalty payments have doubled in the last nine months, making the amount of royalties paid out by Spotify to artists over the service's lifetime over half a billion dollars.
The web app, Collections, Discover and Follow will be introduced early next year, though they will continue to be tested in a limited beta until release.