Spotify unveils platform for external developers to create music apps

The company hopes that third-party applications will make its digital music streaming service more appealing and feature-rich

Spotify on Wednesday launched a development platform designed to let third parties create applications that integrate with its popular digital music-streaming service.

By giving external programmers access to its platform, Spotify hopes to make its service more appealing and multifeatured through applications that boost and extend its social and music capabilities, the company said.

"We think this will lead to integrations that keep Spotify beautiful and simple, but layer in great musical experiences designed to be social and fun. It's what our users have been asking us for," Spotify CEO Daniel Ek said in a statement.

Spotify envisions applications that provide users with playlists from professional DJs, "virtual clubs" for group listening and reviews and news articles, as well as let people buy tickets to concerts, for example.

The Spotify Platform, as it's formally called, is launching with a set of initial applications from companies like Last.fm, SongKick and TuneWiki, which respectively integrate editorial content, lyrics and concert calendars into the service.

Spotify, available in Europe for years, launched in the U.S. in July, and made a big splash in September at Facebook's F8 developer conference, where it was featured as one of the first companies to tightly integrate with Facebook using the social networking site's latest developer tools.

Spotify currently has about 10 million registered users, including about 2.5 million who are on a fee-based tier of the service. Spotify has some 15 million songs in its catalog.

Spotify users can browse the third-party applications in a section of the site called App Finder. At launch, there were a dozen applications available on the site, with four more coming soon.

The platform is in beta, or test, mode. It is expected to be fully ready at some point in December.

Spotify users have created about 500 million playlists. The number of registered users has grown by about 7 million since Spotify integrated its service with Facebook in September.

Juan Carlos Perez covers search, social media, online advertising, e-commerce, web application development, enterprise cloud collaboration suites and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Juan on Twitter at @JuanCPerezIDG.

This story, "Spotify unveils platform for external developers to create music apps" was originally published by IDG News Service .

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