Spotify, the free music sharing service that has gone viral over Facebook, just launched an embeddable Play Button so that any Spotify music can live on any website.
"Today we’re giving every blogger and web editor the ability to light up the internet with music. Adding a personalized soundtrack to your website or blog has never been this easy,” wrote chief product officer Gustav Söderström. “You want to give your fans access to any song, album or playlist of your choosing and in its entirety, while ensuring people stay glued to your site. The Spotify Play Button does all of this for free, while making sure artists get paid for every play."
In a strategy similar to what they did on Facebook, moving from mobile to stereo to social, jockeying for position as "the operating system for music" on all digital platforms, Spotify has now pushed its client web-ubiquitous.
“In many ways, the Spotify Play Button is akin to Facebook’s 'Like' button. It’s a way of integrating service across the greater web, while also offering users additional value," writes Mashable's Christina Warren. "This all brings Spotify one step closer to becoming the online hub for music.”
“The integrations echo the Spotify/Facebook partnership, where the widget works as a remote control for the Spotify software. But, just like the Spotify/Facebook link, it won’t do you any good if you don’t have the Spotify software on your machine,” notes Peter Kafka on All Things D.
Spotify is currently available in only thirteen countries – the USA, UK, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands and Spain. In these countries, where the complicated landscape of music licensing and streaming has been successfully navigated, you still need the Spotify desktop app to play the embedded music. While the new hyperlink is an improvement aesthetically, it’s a frustration to those who happen upon it and find it is not "click and play" …without a Spotify account.
The goal is that Spotify’s 10 million user base will significantly scale as many more people attempt to play music in a browser that won’t let them – but instead leads them to the app install and a paying subscription (and required login via Facebook). But some observers are skeptical.
“Take SoundCloud," writes Paul Sawers on TheNextWeb. "You can properly embed a SoundCloud song on your site, and you don’t have to rely on the user launching the SoundCloud application. It plays right there, in your browser. I can’t help but think Spotify has missed a trick with this launch, as it would’ve really opened up its platform to the masses. Embeds shouldn’t launch external apps, end of story.”
As for the editorial opportunities, Spotify’s Play Button opens the door for any music writer/blogger to embed tunes in their articles – making them in essence support staff for Spotify’s marketing of its 16-million-song catalogue.
Image VIA CNN