Spotify wants to offer free iPhone app, if Apple lets them

“If Spotify has its way, iPhone owners will no longer be slaves to iTunes, song-by-song payments or finite disk capacity,” Adam Taylor reports for TIME Magazine.

“Last week the Swedish company behind Spotify’s streaming music provider announced plans to release a free iPhone application that will let users listen to songs played directly off of its online service, with no need to download,” Taylor reports. “That would give iPhone users instant access to any of Spotify’s 6 million songs, without taking up precious memory space — way more than the maximum 7,000 tracks that a 32GB iPhone can hold.”

Taylor reports, “Songs can also be temporarily stored, or cached, ready to play during those moments when web connection drops, like when you’re going through a tunnel or underground. Spotify’s new application could change the way iPhone users listen to music. But first, it has to get the okay from Apple.”

“Spotify’s new application won’t be available to everyone, only those who opt for the premium service, which costs $15 a month for unlimited streams… access to pre-releases and better audio quality than the free service, which forces users to listen to ads after every few songs,” Taylor reports. “Spotify hopes to have its new application available on the iPhone within the next few weeks. The trick is getting Apple to approve an application that some observers see as a potential challenger to Apple’s own iTunes.”

“‘We honestly don’t think there is a direct competitor to Spotify, as no one’s doing exactly what we’re doing at the moment,’ Spotify spokesman Jim Butcher says over email. ‘We’re confident that Apple will allow the Spotify app, as we think it will improve the iPhone users’ experience even further.'”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]


  1. “How many of the six million songs on that catalogue do you already own? All your favourite tracks? SO WHY THE HELL DO YOU WANT to cough up good money after bad for?”

    Well, I would agree and disagree with this.

    You’re right. I certainly don’t want to “rent” my favorite music. However, I don’t have anything against the idea that I might want to rent music in order to determine whether or not it will become my favorite music.

    The problem with rental systems, to me, is that there is too much choice. 6 million songs…wow.

    Part of the problem with these types of services is that they provide no service. You’re paying $x per month for access. You still have to do the work to figure out what you might or might not want to listen to. Why should I bother–I already have a batch of my favorite music right here?

    I’ve said it before: Apple has a lot of the tools necessary for a good subscription service with their store and iTunes software. What I want to be able to do is create a “smart playlist” for my morning commute. I want it to contain these 23 favorite songs that I own, the top 10 from Billboard’s Top 100 List whose Genre is not “Hip Hop/Rap”, and the latest ABC News and Weather Channel podcasts. I dock my iPod, go to bed, get up the next morning and there’s my playlist, ready to go.

    Subscription music is a waste of time, agreed. I do not want to rent my favorite music. But a subscription music service which will automatically fill my iPod with music that I would like to hear isn’t necessarily a bad idea. Again, mix in some short podcasts with news and information and what do I need a radio station for, anyway?

  2. “And this is better than Pandora because….?”

    Because you can actually choose which songs you want to listen to, whenever you want to listen to them, and even cache playlists for listening to music without an internet connection.

  3. Apple may see this as a competitor … or not. I don’t. They are not offering to SELL the content, or even to GIVE you the content. They are offering to let you RENT the content. Now, it is my personal opinion, the opinion of a geek who lived and loved through the sixties and seventies, that much of today’s “music” is good for …. MAYBE one listen. Maybe. So, maybe that’s the market they are aiming for? I can’t believe that the majority of the market does not want to spend their kroner on a couple dozen songs they can listen to at will – even after quitting the service – rather than having a couple of million songs available as long as you pay the “rent”. I have tens of thousands of songs in my collection, but only select from maybe a thousand of them “intentionally”. The rest I hear “on occasion”. The iPhone (if I had one) would suit me fine.

  4. So, yet another subscription based service… It completely boggles the mind that anyone with a modicum of sanity would think it a good idea to ‘rent’ music for $15/month.

    I guess what David Hannum said is true “There is a sucker born every minute.”

  5. So they want to offer the app for free so that Apple distributes the software, but receives no revenue. Then they want to charge a subscription fee, of which Apple receives nothing. To top it off, the app has the potential to draw revenue away from the iTunes Store.

    I don’t see a bright future for this app on the iPhone, particularly since Apple could easily provide subscription access to the iTunes library (if the necessary licensing agreements were established with the content owners).

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