Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Spotify Moves Beyond Facebook With a “Play Button” for the Rest of the Web

If you’re on Facebook, then you’ve almost certainly seen Spotify, which is why the music service has been able to pick up some three million users since it launched in the U.S. last summer.

But not everyone is on Facebook (really!), and Spotify would like many more users. This should help: Spotify is rolling out a feature that will let the rest of the Web integrate the service, via a “play button” widget, onto their pages.

So everyone from the Huffington Post to Rolling Stone to your average Tumblr user — Tumblr is incorporating the feature right into its main dashboard, and you can see a sample of a Tumblr page at the bottom of this post — can incorporate free tunes onto their sites. And Spotify gets a whole new set of promotional partners.

In theory, that’s an unlimited set of partners, since Spotify will let anyone who knows how to embed HTML add the widgets, by heading to this page. So if this works correctly, you should see something very special right here:

The integrations echo the Spotify/Facebook partnership, where the widget works as a remote control for the Spotify software. But, just like the Spotify/Facebook link, it won’t do you any good if you don’t have the Spotify software on your machine.

So if you’ve already got Spotify up and running on your PC before you hit the “play” button on the song above (and you really should! It’s excellent.), then the music will start playing immediately. If not, you’ll have to go click a couple of buttons to open up the software, or even more to download the software.

Things would be a whole lot easier if you could just click a button and get Spotify streamed directly from the Web, and Spotify might end up there one day. For now, it can’t, because of both technical and biz-dev reasons.

But a few million people have already downloaded Spotify in the last nine months, and this move will help the company round up some more. It’s probably not nearly enough to make it a full-blown mainstream service, but they can take it one step at a time.


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— Gitesh Pandya of BoxOfficeGuru.com comments on the dreadful opening weekend box office numbers for “The Fifth Estate.”