It looks as though Spotify is finally about to roll out a browser-based version of the service, but don’t expect price cuts to accompany this move to the Web.
Spotify is a fantastic service, offering millions of songs that can be instantly played for free, or very affordably thanks to several subscription layers. I myself have used Spotify since the day it launched in the U.K., and once the limits for free users kicked in a duly and dutifully handed over my monthly fee to carry on using it.
However, one thing that has bugged many, and confused others, is the need to install standalone software to use Spotify. The Spotify desktop client is great, but it doesn’t really achieve anything that couldn’t be achieved inside a modern Web browser. And since Spotify began integrating with Facebook and other websites and Web-based services, relying on a desktop version alone makes little sense.
As first reported by TechCrunch, and since confirmed by AllThingsD, Spotify is preparing to launch in Web browsers in the coming months. Which explains why the desktop client has been left virtually untouched and unloved for the past year or so barring the inclusion of Spotify-specific apps.
The browser option will start rolling out in the next month for selected users. It will feature a completely overhauled interface which will sit alongside the desktop client. The browser variant is designed to make it easier for new users to try Spotify out, as they won’t need to download anything before being able to start streaming songs.
While the Facebook integration is a good idea, it’s a little clunky to have to open Spotify up before clicking on a song or playlist recommended on the social networking site. Spotify currently has 15 million users, 4 million of which are paid subscribers. Moving the service to the Web is an effort to up both those figures.
An additional rumor of a price cut from $10 to $8 for the Spotify Premium option looks unlikely, as it would be reducing its already-slim margins.