Update! For all the Spotify lovers out there, and there are many of you in Europe, the Spotify iPhone application can now be downloaded through iTunes App Store for free (you still need premium membership to use the app though). We will come back with more details as soon as we get it tested.
This might be one that thousands out there has been waiting for. The ultra popular music streaming service Spotify has submitted their iPhone application to the iTunes App Store and is now waiting to hear if Apple will approve them, even though they are in direct competition with iTunes own music service.
The Swedish born music streaming service Spotify that has taken Europe by storm in the last few months have developed the application that will let iPhone and iPod Touch users stream music on their devices, without buying the songs, but rather subscribe to their streaming service and get access to their millions and growing music library.
What makes the Spotify iPhone application unique is that it will not only allow you to stream the music library directly to your iPhone or iPod Touch, it will also allow you to cache a list of songs to listen to when you are not online through a mobile connection (3G etc.) or through a WiFi connection. This means that the application will further be in competition with iTunes music service.
The Spotify application, although free to download if it is accepted, requires a premium £9.99 per month subscription service, thereby possibly limiting the number of people that will actually decide to use the service, unless they don’t have an existing music library. Also, the service is not available in the US or Canada yet either, due to licensing aggreements, although Spotify is close to securing deals with Indie labels in the US to offer their service to the US market as well.
So now the question is, will Apple approve the Spotify application onto the iTunes App Store? There are arguments both before and against. In many ways the application will be in direct competition with iTunes own music download service, although it is not considered to be their most important revenue driver, which is what might make them consider approving Spotify.
The other main reason why Apple might consider Spotify is of course that the popular service will become available on other handsets, possibly resulting in lower market penetration and sales of the iPhone and iPod Touch, which are the real revenue drivers for Apple. Sometimes it is about sacrificing the small things to secure market position and drive increased revenue through the real revenue drivers, like the iPhone and iPod Touch.
Now we know that Apple is very protective of their products and services, and what really stops Apple from launching their own service similar to Spotify if they see it as an opportunity to drive further revenue? if Apple ends up not allowing Spotify onto their app store, then my prediction is that it will only be a matter of months before Apple launch the same or similar service themselves to rival the upstart Spotify.
You can check out a YouTube video of the application here.
Got to love the constant changes and newcomers in the digital marketplace!