Soon, Spotify will be joining us all where we hang out the most: the World Wide Web. The wildly popular streaming music service is breaking free of its app-only confines and launching a browser-based version, the company confirmed. This is great news.
An Awkward Relationship?
To date, Spotify's relationship with the Web has been a little awkward. Since the service has long existed only in the form of a desktop app and mobile counterparts, embedding music from Spotify within Web pages hasn't exactly been the completely elegant thing. Various widgets exist to do it, but they require the desktop app to be running in order to function.
The most well-known example of this is probably Facebook's Spotify integration, which shows you what music your friends are listening and lets you hear it for yourself. It's a pretty tight integration, but clicking the Listen button either launches the desktop app or prompts you to install it. It's not quite as seamless, to say the least. The same goes for blogs and other sites that embed Spotify tracks or playlists. It can be done, but there's a little bit of extra friction in the process.
Spotify's integration with the Web will soon get a lot smoother and the user experience will undoubtedly be much better as a result. Details about how the Web app and its embeds will work are sparse, but it's reasonable to assume that it will be analogous Spotify's iPad app (to which it bears a striking resemblance). Playing back a song back will almost certainly require a Spotify user account, so it won't be quite as seamless as a YouTube or SoundCloud embed, but it's still a big improvement. It also makes the service a little more portable, since you can access it in the browser, which is sometimes easier than download a desktop application.
Catching Up With The Competition
It's worth noting that Spotify's biggest competitors have long had this feature. Since its launch, Rdio has offered a Web version alongside its mobile apps. MOG has been in the browser for awhile as well. What makes this significant is Spotify's leading position in the all-you-can-stream music space, a role that will likely be more emboldened once users can more easily play Spotify songs from within their browsers.