Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Spotify and Facebook's New Music Buttons

Spotify New Music Graphic on Music 3.0 blog
I'm usually shocked when I talk at a college or university and I ask how many students use Spotify. It's usually only 1 or 2 in an audience of 50 or so, while the number that use Pandora is always around 90%.

Spotify's trying to change that though, as it wants to become the predominant streaming music service. In an effort to accomplish just that it recently released its new "Play Button." If you now interact with Spotify through Facebook, you already know what it's like. When you see a box for a song on Spotify and hit the play button, it automatically loads up the song on your desktop Spotify app.

The button and player are designed to work on virtually any Internet platform, yet allows the user to customize the widget if they desire. That means that you can create Play buttons for songs, albums or playlists (with and without artwork), then drop the code on your site or blog.

This sounds like a very cools thing and at first glance you'd think that the service could spread like a virus as a result. Here's the problem; you need to be a registered Spotify user with the desktop app up and running for it to work.

Now as some of my empirical observation suggests, that means that Spotify hasn't reached nearly the level of penetration for the Play Button to make a difference yet. That said, it does show that the company is still thinking forward, and may one day get to the tipping point. It better hurry though, since it will be old news if Apple comes out with their own subscription service, as has been rumored for some time.

And in some late breaking news, Facebook has now entered the music button fray with their own "Listen" button. The button is designed especially for band or artist pages so that when you click it, music will begin streaming from your favorite streaming service. Supposedly the Listen button was introduced as another dagger at MySpace so its users who are there for the music have less time to stick around. That said, it does undermine Spotify's "Play" button in that it can access other music services as well. Oh, what a political online music world we line in.
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