Home Spotify iPhone App Approved Thanks to the FCC

Spotify iPhone App Approved Thanks to the FCC

Spotify’s CEO Daniel Ek must be ecstatic. The company’s iPhone application has been approved for the App Store ahead of competitors Rhapsody and Grooveshark. PaidContent UK reports that Apple has notified Spotify that its app will appear in the store shortly. In late July there was fear that the Swedish site’s iPhone service would be denied due to the fact that it was seen as a threat to iTunes. Since then, Apple has come under FCC investigation for its app approval process. The investigation could not have come at a better time for Spotify; the speedy approval is likely due to Apple’s interest in deflecting accusations of anti-competitive tactics.

Unlike many other iPhone music apps, Spotify’s iPhone service offers users the ability to select tracks and listen to them in an offline playlist. The ability to cache files is a huge asset to those who commute to work without a wireless connection. After raising a $50 million dollar round in early August, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek made the surprise announcement that the app would only be available to premium paying members. The much-anticipated app was a great way to infuse Spotify’s subscription service with added value, but leaving revenue stream to Apple’s less-than-transparent approval process seemed a risky move. With today’s announcement, Spotify’s audiences in the UK, Sweden, Norway, Spain, France and Finland will be more likely to pay for the company’s premium service.

Eager North Americans have been waiting for the Spotify service to launch stateside; nevertheless, because the company looks to sign major label deals before its American release, there is no hard date for launch. According to paidContent, “Spotify hopes to launch in the U.S. in Q3 or Q4.” Meanwhile, Florida-based Grooveshark just launched a premium service available to both US and international members, and an iPhone service has been submitted to the App store. While Grooveshark’s current app does not allow for cached offline music, the company plans to incorporate this feature in an upcoming version. Not to be outdone, Rhapsody also submitted an iPhone app early this week. If Spotify launches in the US when Grooveshark’s cached music app becomes available, it will be an interesting battle for streaming music supremacy.

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