Will Apple Allow Spotify On The iPhone?

from the one-to-watch dept

Having used Spotify a bit, I can definitely see how some people think it could potentially replace iTunes completely. It basically acts like an iTunes that has access to millions of songs at no additional cost (and, yes, it's all licensed and legal). The songs are streamed, but you almost never notice it. It really does feel just like iTunes, while also having "Pandora-like" features for creating specialized stations or sharing others' playlists. Unfortunately, it's only available in the UK for now, though the rumor is it will be available in the US before the end of the year. However, where things could get really impressive is with Spotify's mobile app. For a few months, there's been a YouTube video of Spotify Mobile on Android:
The demo highlights the fact that you can sync any playlist for "offline" play, solving the biggest question about weak mobile signals on the go, or how you use it on a plane or somewhere without wireless access. With offline syncing, it's basically everything that an iPod can do -- with access to 6 million songs without having to pay for each individual song. But, of course, Android is still a limited platform. The big fish these days is the iPhone App Store, and Spotify has now submitted an iPhone app for approval, which raises all sorts of questions. With Apple's history of rather arbitrary rejections -- including ones for things Apple has deemed "competitive" -- will it block Spotify as a rather direct competitor to iTunes? That would be very unfortunate, and again demonstrate the risk of a closed platform.

That said, the initial reviews of the iPhone app seem quite strong. Eliot Van Buskirk at Wired loves the syncing feature, and warns that "you'd have to pry it out of my cold, dead iPhone before I'll delete it from my phone." Meanwhile Music Ally points out that Spotify has uploaded a video of the iPhone app as well:
It really does look pretty slick. So now the ball's in Apple's court. I have no idea if Spotify can survive as a business (and I suspect that the royalty rates the music industry wants will make that difficult), but it is great to see more innovation in the space. Now we get to see how Apple feels about that sort of innovation.

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  • identicon
    Tony, 27 Jul 2009 @ 5:16am

    Deja Vu

    Kind of reminds me of another company that bundled browser software with its operating system and got a slap on the wrist...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Jul 2009 @ 5:58am

    Apple won't do it because Iphones have issues of battery life. They can't allow things like spotify to run full time because the battery on the phone would die within a few hours. It's the price you pay for really nice packaging.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    mac84, 27 Jul 2009 @ 6:07am

    If it's available for android, Apple will follow suit

    They can't afford not to. Apple makes its money from selling phones, not from iTunes Store. And they can't afford to have their phone appear crippled next to the competition.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Michael Witt (profile), 27 Jul 2009 @ 7:52am

      Re: If it's available for android, Apple will follow suit

      Are you just stupid? Apple makes its money from both selling phones and iTunes. While ITMS was made profitable by the advent of the iPod, ITMS is far more profitable than selling the phones. Remember that ITMS did multiple billions of dollars worth of sales last year, and Apple gets a non-trivial cut of that revenue, AND operating costs are fairly low.

      I don't know if Apple will block the app or not, seeing as Pandora made it through the certification process, but this has lots more access, and you can choose what song you want to listen to. I have to think they will block it for some BS reason.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Jul 2009 @ 6:31am

    It will be interesting. Normally Apple would have shot this down immediately. They've shot down others for FAR LESS. If this gets by then it shows that Android is helping the market evolve by breaking down these closed gardens. If Apple doesn't let it through it shows Android is the more flexible and diverse platform.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    mjb5406 (profile), 27 Jul 2009 @ 9:17am

    No US Licensing Agreements... of course

    If a US user goes to spotify.com, you'll be greeted by the news that there are no licensing agreements in the US. This is not, of course, a surprise... I'm sure the badass RIAA woul do its damnest to shut Spotify down in an instant. Gotta love poli.tica;ly-connected, deep pocket organizations like that!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), 27 Jul 2009 @ 9:49am

    Eh, They'll block it.

    They'll deny it citing the program will give access to adult content, like they did with the NIN app. I'm sure that some of those songs have bad language in them. You can't argue against the protecting the children BS.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Harry Jones, 27 Jul 2009 @ 9:52am

    Apple should allow the app as Spotify is (currently) only UK based - I think. iTunes is pretty much global.

    Apple can release their own version of Spotify through iTunes should it suit them later on.


    As mentioned by the post above Spotify needs to be OKed by the RIAA among others in the US so I don't see it being launched there as a given.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    iphone spy reviews, 23 Jun 2011 @ 5:26pm

    spotify is freakin awesome, you guys should check out voddler, its like spotify but with movies :D but you gotta rent some movies, but some are for free

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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