Spotify to launch browser-based version, Apple goes radio (streaming) as wellPosted on 09/09/12
Spotify is preparing the launch of a browser-based version of its streaming music service. The news was first reported via Techcrunch who got it confirmed via multiple sources. The move explains why the company has in the past months hardly touched its desktop software. Although the article initially seems to indicate that Spotify would be abandoning its desktop software that is still very unclear. Somehow we don't think this will happen. The browser-based version should however beef up the sign-up numbers since you could then start listening without having to install a player first. The Facebook connect being the only hurdle left to take. At the same time existing users would find it easier to access their content from any computer they log in to.
The re-design and move to the web would include a bigger focus on discovery, including following the listening habits and playlists of influencers in addition to your friends.
With the move Spotify clearly is after whipping out the existing competition that seems to have less and less (united) benefits compared to Spotify.
The only party who is seemingly following what Spotify is up to is Apple who will now also start with an own iAd supported radio according to a Wall Street Journal article. Apple only recently initiated licensing negotiations with record labels for this new service. As of June, there were more than 400 million iTunes accounts, according to Apple. The new service could boost the number of users actually using the account for more than just downloading music.
Does this mean that it might also start a Spotify-like service as well? Who knows, but if we had to bet, we'd say it's highly possible considering that the market for streaming music might be endlessly bigger than that one of downloads, due to the ease of use to start with.
The victim of all this will be Pandora, whose yearly revenue per user is already half of that of its direct competitor Spotify although it counts 55 million users (that's 39 million more than Spotify). The reason? It's primary source of income is ad-supported. In the case of Spotify, it made less than 15% of its revenue from ad sales, with the other 85% generated by subscribers who pay for an ad-free version which seems to be a way more profitable way of working (although Spotify itself is still loosing money as it is now).
And where is Amazon in all this? Well, if Amazon is really planning to go mobile, you can be sure that an Amazon streaming service will soon see the light of day as well.
You can find our Side-Line Spotify Playlist right here.
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Posted by B. Van Isacker
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