Streaming music service Spotify introduced its libspotify 9 API, enabling Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS developers to add streaming media capabilities to their iPhone and iPad applications. The free API grants apps access to the complete Spotify digital library, which boasts more than 15 million tracks--developers must sign up for Spotify Premium (which offers online and offline access across the desktop and mobile for $9.99 per month), and app users must subscribe to the service as well.
Spotify went live in the U.S. in mid-July, ending more than a year of speculation over when the popular European service would finally expand to American shores. In addition to on-demand streaming access, Spotify enables users to create and manage their own playlists, share tracks via Facebook, Twitter, email and SMS and wirelessly sync their playlists to their mobile phone or iPod. The U.S. version offers three flavors: Spotify Free (on-demand, buffer-free access with occasional advertising); Spotify Unlimited (uninterrupted, ad-free access via computer for $4.99 per month); and Spotify Premium.
Spotify touts more than 10 million registered users across seven European countries. More than 1.6 million users are paying subscribers. Insiders say its U.S. launch was delayed by music industry fretting over its business model, with labels reportedly pressuring Spotify to jettison its free approach in favor of a guaranteed revenue stream. In April, Spotify instituted narrower limits on the amount of music available to users opting for the free version, a move designed to migrate consumers to the premium offering--The Wall Street Journal adds the step was also critical to convincing label partners to license their music for U.S. consumption.
- read this Spotify blog
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