Changes might be afoot for Spotify and, if a multitude of unnamed sources are to be believed, then a brand-new, browser-based version of the popular music streaming service might be arriving at some point in the near future.
Said sources, speaking to TechCrunch's Josh Constine, maintain that Spotify will not only launch a new Internet-based version to supplement the service's standalone desktop and mobile apps, but that it will also pack in new music discovery options that will allow users to more easily follow the activity of other Spotify users beyond just their Facebook friends.
There aren't any concrete details about what the Web-based Spotify might look like, nor any indication of what additional features it might offer (or current features it might delete) versus the service's desktop app. However, the overall benefit of a Web-based Spotify service is that users will no longer have to download an actual client to be able to access the more than 18 million songs the service offers.
Presumably, tapping into one's Spotify account from any computer with an Internet connection would be as easy as clicking a giant "Login using your Facebook account" button – since Facebook powers all of Spotify's social and sign-on functions and is an irreplaceable component of the service's desktop and mobile apps.
While Spotify currently gives its users a direct feed to see exactly what their Facebook friends are listening to on the service — as well as the ability to "favourite" certain friends for easier access to their listening habits and playlists — users can also "friend" or subscribe to Spotify users who aren't actually their Facebook buddies.
However, Spotify is allegedly also looking into making it a bit easier for its users to hunt down more influential "non-friends," which could include the integration of a kind of "suggested subscribers" list. This could help users more easily find new Spotify influencers to follow — including DJs, musicians, superfans of particular genres and such.
Finally, Spotify might also be tweaking the costs of its subscription services by offering an $8 (£5) ad-free mobile monthly plan. Currently, Spotify is free for anyone to listen to (with advertisements and no mobile support), but users looking to either ditch the ads or stream Spotify on their mobile devices have to cough up $5 (£3) or $10 (£6) for the features, respectively.
Spotify currently has approximately four million paying users across 15 different countries.
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