Blog Post

Spotify Targets iTunes, All-Comers With Social And MP3 Features

Spotify spent most of its first year saying it would refrain from adding “social” features and concentrate on just serving music. But the ice in Stockholm has thawed lately and today the music service added just that, amongst its first significant product updates since launching in late 2008.

New profiles: Users can friend each other by Spotify username or via Facebook graph and send tracks to each other with a new Inbox. New activity appears in a “feed”. Users can share a web link to their in-app profile and add profile details to their blogs.

Library changes: Spotify’s no longer just a cloud player – now users can play local files, like iTunes. Tracks and albums can be “starred”, popping them in a favourites folder. Spotify will also wirelessly sync music files to mobile without USB sideloading.

Spotify SVP Paul Brown tells paidContent:UK:-

“Today’s upgrade is all about driving discovery and enabling users to build their playlist libraries. To then access these libraries across multiple platforms, we feel will be a major attraction for people looking to sign up as a premium customer.

“We have shown, since rolling out premium mobile access to our users, that the ability to access your music in a very simple, exciting and absorbing way, across multiple platforms, is a big reason to subscribe and today’s features only increase the stickiness of Spotify as a music platform. There is a lot more to come but this is a significant step in Spotify’s evolution as music access and management platform.”

The features are available to both free and paying users. Spotify has over seven million users and 320,000 of the latter. Little of this seems to affect that dragging issue of entering the U.S. market. But, assuming Spotify’s economics are scaleable, these additions will likely yield higher dwell time and attract more users, because they’re all about propagating extra engagement.

Twelve months ago, Brown told us about social prospects: “I don

4 Responses to “Spotify Targets iTunes, All-Comers With Social And MP3 Features”

  1. Patrick Smith

    I don’t follow Brown’s argument. If, as he says, “the ability to access your music in a very simple, exciting and absorbing way, across multiple platforms, is a big reason to subscribe,” then why is this functionality being offered to free users?

    Admittedly, the iTunes/local library carriage is a real bonus and perhaps something that would drive subscriptions. But I’ve just downloaded the new upgrade and am enjoying listening to The Beatles and the rest of it without ever giving Spotify a penny.

    Mobile is clearly the point of paying for the service, but does this latest move show Spotify preparing for a scenario where it can no longer increase its premium userbase and will be forced to monetise a highly engaged free audience in key markets?

  2. Terry Purvis

    “Spotify’s no longer just a cloud player”

    Actually everyone using the Internet is a “cloud player” simply because that’s how the Internet works.