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Will Apple Let a Spotify App Into Its App Store?

logoSpotify, after fundamentally changing the way in which Europeans find and listen to music via their computers, is now setting its sites on the mobile world. Its existing service, which is accessed via an iTunes-style desktop client, enables users to instantly stream entire albums and share custom playlists. For many, it feels like the Napster revolution all over again, but without the threat of legal action.

The company’s next move is to hit the iPhone with a dedicated app. Free to download, the app will allow Spotify’s premium subscribers to access its service on the go. And its new “offline mode” feature will cache up to 3,333 tracks to the iPhone, allowing subscribers to listen to their playlists while offline.

So will Apple allow Spotify’s app into its App Store? Given that Spotify proposes to rent to its subscribers what Apple is trying to sell, it seems highly unlikely.

Spotify is confident it will. “We’ve a great relationship with Apple, think the iPhone is awesome and absolutely expect them to approve the app in the next few weeks,“ CEO Daniel Ek told paidContent: UK, adding that the company has “spent significant time and resources to ensure we’ve stuck to Apple’s developer guidelines point by point.”

Several apps, including Google Voice, have already been rejected from the App Store. And Apple is purportedly working on making iTunes a more compelling experience for users, although this effort will apparently only involve video clips and liner notes included with album downloads. Spotify, on the other hand, already has the social aspect covered. The desktop application supports submissions — unlike iTunes — and music from Spotify can be shared with other subscribers. Sites dedicated to sharing Spotify playlists, such as, are increasingly popping up across the web.

So the arrival of an app that brings the music streaming service — and with it the ability to download tracks for offline play on the iPhone or iPod touch — poses a genuine threat to Apple’s iTunes Store business. After all, liner notes and video clips are unlikely to be enough to tempt users away from unlimited access to Spotify’s impressive library.

12 Responses to “Will Apple Let a Spotify App Into Its App Store?”

  1. I think if Apple are prepared to be seen as knocking back Google Voice apps (whatever the real reason is behind the scenes), then they’ll have no trouble disappointing the crowds by pushing away from Spotify.

    If that does happen then I very much doubt we’ll see Spotify available for jailbroken devices. Rather, the folks at Spotify will compromise on functionality of the app and release something slightly crippled i.e. no offline play.

  2. I also think Apple will have to consider the fact that Spotify will be available on every other phone very soon. Can they really afford to be the only one left out? Maybe they are developing something of their own, but I don´t really see the point. An Iphone with Spotify installed will simply be the best musicdevice the world has ever seen. Apple shouldn´t stop this from happening.

  3. I have to imagine that Spotify and Apple have been talking. Would Spotify risk spending time and money making this app if they weren’t pretty sure it’d get through? The ceo says they’ve stuck by all points which means they may have already made concessions (only 3,333 tracks)?

    Spotify is the biggest startup out of Europe right now and Apple knows it, killing this would be trouble especially with an already demoed Android app on the way.

  4. This is just great. Apple “innovates” by stepping back into the distant past and returning with archaic liner notes and vids. More content I don’t need and that I’ll never look at, same as the extra featues on DVDs. Considering all the other stupid actions and statements coming from Apple lately (re: Google Voice) I wouldn’t be surprised if they really do come out with an irrelevant, redundant, and useless iTablet come the Fall (Sorry, pun intended).

    But as far Spotify, I don’t think Apple will reject it for threatening iTunes, since iTunes is a, supposedly anyway, loss leader designed to sell Apple hardware. Spotify should increase demand for iPhones/iTouches in line with Apple’s objectives. Then again, given their recent behavior, who the hell knows what Apple is thinking. It’s like the loonies have taken over in Cupertino.

  5. Olly, your article certainly confirms my thinking about the Apple/Spotify debate. I certainly don’t consider there to be the remote chance even that Apple make “sherlock” ( the Spotify App into their iTunes software for the iPhone, the ties to the record companies principle “always pay for the content” model will never die when it comes to Apple’s continuing success in bringing many users into the iTunes store!

  6. If it becomes a killer feature on android (e.g. one that makes people switch from iPhone) then maybe.
    That is if Apple doesn’t introduce a streaming service of its own… e.g. part of mobileMe? You read it here first :)