Spotify CEO Daniel Ek took to the stage today and laid out the future path for the streaming music service. Starting today, Spotify is not just a place to listen to music, it’s a place to find apps that’ll help you listen to music.
Spotify is opening its platform to developers who can create apps that’ll pull music from Spotify and use it in a novel way. It’s not what you think, though. These apps won’t run on the web or a mobile device; they run within the Spotify app itself. It’s a way for Spotify to improve its app using outside developers who can add features like lyric support, concert event listings and more. You add these HTML 5-based helper apps from within Spotify’s new App Finder. And they are available to both free and premium users. Launch partners include Last.fm, Rolling Stone, TuneWiki and others.
The biggest thing missing in all of this is mobile support. The apps are tied into Spotify on the desktop and cannot be used on mobile devices, at least not yet. But that’s the million dollar question – when is Spotify going to bring these features to the mobile platform? The formal presentation did not mention mobile, so we really don’t know what Spotify has planned. We presume mobile is on the road map for this new app platform, but it may take a while. There may be complex licensing deals that limit mobile playback or technological challenges that make it difficult to run an app within an app on a mobile device.
Spotify is smart enough to choose HTML 5 as the code for these helper apps. Presumably, they can be easily ported to mobile devices once Spotify decides to flick the switch on mobile.