Spotify now has 2.5 million paying subscribers worldwide, the company announced Wednesday morning; 500,000 of those new customers came on board after the service launched its new Facebook integration in September, according to Bloomberg. The subscriber addition news comes just days after Spotify sent out an invitation to a mystery event to be held in New York on Nov. 30, which promised “some exciting news” about the future of Spotify, complete with an appearance of Spotify CEO Daniel Ek and “a special guest or two.”
Ever since the invite was sent out, people have been wondering: What exactly is next for Spotify? Most of the musings have centered around the idea of music downloads, with others arguing the company could strike an alliance with mobile carriers.
I think there’s a third possibility: Spotify could launch a web-based client and also announce new apps for mobile and connected devices. Here’s why such a strategy of taking Spotify everywhere makes sense:
Today’s new numbers prove the social graph provides a huge opportunity for Spotify. Growing its paid subscriber base 25 percent in just two months is an enormous success for the service, but even with 2.5 million paying subscribers, the company still has a huge untapped customer base in Facebook’s hundreds of millions of users. I’d argue it won’t be able to really touch most of these users until it offers them some capability of playing songs simply by clicking on a link in their activity stream, without the burden of installing a desktop client first.
To be honest, I don’t think Spotify will ditch its desktop client any time soon; it’s at the core of the company’s technology, and its caching features are one of the reasons Spotify works so well. However, I think the company could embrace a limited number of free streams for song sharing, similar to what Google now offers as part of its recently launched music service. Want more? Then download the client, and maybe even sign up for the premium version while you’re at it.
This is where Spotify’s connected device strategy comes in. The company has been hugely successful on mobile devices, and just recently started to extend its reach to the living room with apps for Boxee and the WD TV platform. We previously broke the news that Spotify is close to launching a Roku channel as well, and I think that announcement could be part of the Spotify event, complete with possibly a few additional apps for connected device platforms like Google TV and possibly even Apple TV.
These kind of apps are a huge deal for Spotify: Users need premium subscriptions to access their music on mobile or connected devices, and competitor Pandora has been one of the most successful apps on connected device platforms. Expanding to as many living room platforms as soon as possible can only help Spotify to keep its growth going. Adding a few more mobile apps of course wouldn’t hurt either, which is why we may see an iPad app next week as well.
So there you have it, my predictions for Spotify’s mystery event: Apps for Roku, Google TV and the iPad and a limited web player to tap into Facebook’s masses. What do you expect, or what would you like to see? Let us know in the comments!