Digital music service Spotify launched its Spotify App for the Apple iPhone and iPod touch on the AppleApp Store, along with availability for Google's Android powered smartphones free from Android Market. The Spotify App is available to Spotify Premium subscribers in the U.K., Sweden, Spain, France, Norway and Finland, the company said. Features include access to Spotify's catalogue of songs, streaming and browsing capability and synchronized playlists.
The Apple iPhone, iPod touch and Android apps also allows playlists to be downloaded and played in offline mode when users have no connection, are on a plane or subway, or abroad and subject to roaming data fees. As a Spotify Premium member users get unlimited access to music streaming without advertising, plus the ability to stream at a higher bit rate of 320kbps. However, unless users are in the U.K., for now the company requires that users receive an invite to register and sign up to the waiting list. Premium members can choose a monthly or annual subscription. The account can be used on several computers, but music playback is limited to one computer at a time.
"This is a hugely significant day in Spotify's short history," said Gustav S??Ã©derstr??Ã©m, Spotify's director of portable solutions. "Since our launch last October, we've worked hard to provide our users with a high quality service that gives them access to whatever music they want, whenever they want it. The launch of the Spotify App now provides our users with the best of both the online and offline worlds, making it even easier for users to listen to all the world's music, anywhere on the planet."
In March 2009, the company passed one million users, now claims more than three million and the service boasts more than 6 million songs. Spotify also holds a strong grip through social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook, as well as the popular social music service Last.fm. The application also features Last.fm integration, which allows the current track to be scrobbled (when information is transferred to a database) without making use of the Last.fm software. In July, The Observer reported the service might be coming to America before the end of this year.
Spotify co-founder Daniel Ek told the paper the company was hiring staff and in search of stateside office space with a planned launch in the third or fourth quarter. Ek said the financial crisis and licensing issues were playing a hand in the decision to offer the service to a U.S. audience. "We still hope to do that, but given the recession and so on, it might take a little longer: It may be next year," Elk said. "Why would I go to the U.S. and try to get more extensive licences if I had trouble covering our costs in Europe?"