To play their favorite tunes, Spotify’s users fire up Android and iOS apps, or download a Spotify desktop application. But as the company looks to increase its exposure through social media and partnerships with companies like Yahoo, that’s changing.
This weekend, TechCrunch reported that the Swedish company will be launching a browser-based version of its service that will include a “focus…on discovery, including following the listening habits and playlists of influencers in addition to your friends”.
As TechCrunch’s Josh Constine notes, being on the web will help boost Spotify’s accessibility. “Users will be able to access a massive catalogue of music plus their playlists from any computer they log in to. Removing the download from the onboarding process could also help [Spotify] sign up more users.”
That remains to be seen. The browser version will almost certainly have its limitations. For instance, limited caching capabilities likely means users will need to be connected to the internet to listen.
But while Spotify’s move to the web may, in the overall scheme of things, not be a big one for the streaming music company, it does serve as a good reminder for companies: despite all of the opportunity in mobile, the web continues to evolve and there is often real value in creating compelling web experiences, even if you start with mobile.
This will only become more true as modern web browsers become more and more capable. HTML5 is on its way, and will have a significant impact on the types of things many companies can put on the web. And technologies like WebRTC will make it possible for functionality that historically required client software to be provided through websites (think Skype-in-the-browser).
In many ways, the web’s evolution seems slower than the mobile explosion we’ve witnessed over the past several years, but make no mistake about it: the web as you knew it will soon be dead. Long live the web.