Though artist and label payments from Spotify remain a vexing topic of discussion, Spotify continues to expand its presence both territorially and technically. Over the weekend TechCrunch said multiple sources had told it that Spotify will be releasing a browser-based version of the service, improving discovery elements and possibly even lowering prices on its paid versions. Currently Spotify users have to download desktop software or use a mobile app to access the service.
Josh Constine at TechCrunch reports that his multiple sources, who could be anybody from legitimate insiders to people who've shorted Pandora's stock in hopes of additional profits in the wake of press claims regarding an Apple music service, have said that:
- Spotify is developing a browser-based version of its service.
- Spotify is planning improvements in discovery.
- And one source says Spotify may be lowering ad-free subscription prices.
The last is described as "unconfirmed" which I guess means by the rest of the panel of invisible experts.
All joshing aside, all of this sounds plausible. Discovery is an ongoing area of improvement and innovation across web and mobile so it behooves Spotify to do more on their own platform rather than relying on Facebook and third party apps. Lowered pricing could bring in more paying customers assuming that Spotify could still profit with such price cuts.
That said, Peter Kafka at All Things D turns to "people who understand Spotify's thinking," no doubt a fun crowd to hang with on the weekend, who say that Spotify will not lower prices because that would pretty much kill its profit margins.
But they also say that not only is the browser version coming but that "some users should start seeing the option pop up in the next month or so." This statement implies, of course, that Kafka is in touch with individuals who not only understand Spotify's thinking but have access to insider knowledge.
Update: Here's some code sleuthing regarding mobile app developments at Spotify.
Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch) blogs about music crowdfunding at Crowdfunding For Musicians (@CrowdfundingM). To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.