Spotify Music Service Adds Apps by Third Parties to Entice New Subscribers
Spotify Ltd., the music-streaming service, will open its site to software developers to attract new users with features such as ticket sales and song lyrics.
Partners including Rolling Stone magazine, CBS Corp. (CBS)’s Last.fm, Pitchfork.com and others began offering 16 programs at Spotify’s “App Finder,” Chief Executive Officer Daniel Ek said today at a press event in New York.
The apps will attract new listeners and convert users of Spotify’s free, advertising-supported service into paying subscribers, Ek said. All Spotify users can access apps, initially available only on computers, he said.
“We are creating this platform now knowing it’s the early days, and we’ll figure it out along the way,” Ek said. “We don’t know all the different possibilities. The important thing is to let innovation steer.”
The London-based company will approve all apps offered on the service. The programs, including the ticket-selling feature Songkick, will work only with Spotify’s software, Ek said.
Rolling Stone will supply an editorial voice that customers have asked Spotify to provide, Ek said. Jann Wenner, the magazine’s owner, said at the event Spotify will enable the publication to incorporate music in articles and reviews.
“Spotify is the ultimate solution,” Wenner said.
One app, called TuneWiki, will provide song lyrics, while Pitchfork.com will make recommendations and playlists, Ek said.
Spotify’s paying subscribers jumped 25 percent to 2.5 million after the company allowed users of Facebook Inc.’s social network to share and stream music.
The company, which charges $4.99 to listen on personal computers or $9.99 for both PCs and mobile devices, has more than 10 million users of its ad-supported service.
The service is available in 12 countries including the U.S., U.K., France and Sweden, and has a music roster of 15 million songs from artists signed to Vivendi SA (VIV) ’s Universal Music Group, Sony Corp. (6758), Warner Music Group and EMI Group, among others.
Ek said closely held Spotify is the music industry’s second-biggest revenue source in Europe. He said Spotify has paid rights holders more than $150 million.
Spotify will be profitable in the long term, Ek said in an interview. “In the future, definitely,” he said. “Our focus is on growing.”
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