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Spotify Opens Up Code to App Developers

December 24, 2011

This news is a bit old, but I thought worth mentioning in case you aren’t on top of it.  Spotify is the legal music streaming service that transformed the way you think about, or at least experience/obtain, music.  (if this statement is not true, go check out and see what I mean).  Spotify allows you to access most music through an Internet connection for free, although there are also paid access tiers.

A big part of the fun of Spotify is, in my mind, the fact that when I create a playlist it is stored server-side, meaning that anywhere I go if I have a computer with Spotify on it, I have my playlists.  And, since I pay $9.99 a month, I can also access my playlists (and any other song I want) on my mobile phone.  Needless to say I have emptied my car of cd’s.

By itself, this is a great service, but I always felt that there were 50 other things that I’d like it to be able to do that it could not.  Forcing me to use other music services as well (for example, if I just want to listen to customized radio and not design my own playlist, I would use Pandora).


Spotify recently announced that they would open up their code to app developers.  What Spotify has – the rights to stream to you most of the music that you would want to hear.  What app developers have – time and creativity to to make use of legal access to this content so that you can experience it in any way that you want.  Want to create playlists collaboratively with your friends?  There’s an app for that.  Want Spotify to simply play music for you that your friends seem to like?  There’s an app for that.  Want Spotify to create a radio station for you based on your preferences but introducing music that isn’t on your playlists?  Yup… there’s an app for that.  Want Spotify to cut your hair and wash your dishes while playing classical music?  Sorry… no app for that yet.

Here’s a discussion in the New York Times about the value of this.  Personally, I see Spotify as positioned to offer everything consumers want as the music industry makes a slow change from a product industry to a service industry.


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