Blog Post

Spotify opens doors to iOS devs with new API

Subscription streaming music service Spotify launched an API on Wednesday that allows third-party iOS (s aapl) developers to integrate Spotify into their apps. Called libspotify, the new resource should allow for some fairly innovative uses of Spotify services.

The free API will allow developers to create apps that provide access to Spotify’s more than 15 million tracks, so long as developers have a Spotify Premium account and app users are active subscribers to the service. We’ll likely see some attempts at straightforward third-party clients, including maybe one tailor-made for the iPad, but there are a number of other more interesting possibilities that also come to mind.

Imagine, for example, a game that lets you choose Spotify as the source of the soundtrack while you play. Or a game that actually uses Spotify more directly, like a music trivia app that has you identify tracks from the service’s library. Another interesting possibility that comes to mind is an augmented reality app that can match tracks available in Spotify’s library to real-world landmarks and locations via the iPhone’s camera or geolocation abilities; a real-life soundtrack for your walking tours, or even just a trip to the grocery store.

There’s one big limitation on the API, however: it’s for non-commercial use only. That means developers won’t be able to use it in apps that aren’t free. Spotify does offer to talk about a partnership with for-profit apps that want to use the API however, so it could be a good way for developers to test interest in Spotify integration among its users before entering into a binding business agreement.

Where would you like to see Spotify integrated in your iOS apps? Let us know in the comments.

8 Responses to “Spotify opens doors to iOS devs with new API”

  1. Josh Whiting

    Spotify is woefully missing any form of music discovery, and playlist sharing among users is so amazingly inaccessible to the point that it almost does not exist as a feature. Hopefully this SDK will enable some motivated developers to build these keys things, which pandora and already bring to digital music.

  2. Steven Rosas

    Integrate a music discovery or playlist sharing application with Spotify. This is the biggest weakness with Spotify in my opinion. It’s great if you have friends on the service who also have time to build/share playlists — but I have no time myself and no friends in that category.

    • Matt Larson

      I agree. I use Rovi’s iPhone app for music discovery and then have to see if it’s available in Spotify via their app. Would be great to see Spotify integrated like the “find in iTunes” button in the Rovi app is

    • I think is a really nice service for discovering music on Spotify. It requires though. It tries to match your data with new additions to Spotify and notifies you when it does.