Have publishers drunk Spotify’s Kool-Aid?

Spotify Play music playlist

I’m a big fan of Spotify but can’t help feel a little confused by the way publishers have signed up to its new Play button.

Launch partners for the Play button, which allows most website owners and bloggers to embed streaming music with an ease not seen since YouTube, include The Independent, The Guardian, Mashable, NME and Rolling Stone.

The above playlist is a slightly ugly work around as blogs like this one can’t use the Play button as intended because WordPress.com doesn’t support iFrames.

So, if you click on the above image (or use this link) the playlist opens in a new window … then you click play within that window … then it works as normal, which is to say it launches the Spotify application to play in the background.

The embedding experience is much simpler with a Tumblr blog, also one of Spotify Play’s launch partners. It’s not quite the “totally instant” Spotify claims, but it’s still pretty good.

However, users need to be signed up and signed in to Spotify for the button to work. And with just 10 million users Spotify has significantly more to gain from working with mainstream publishers, who risk placing “speed bumps” in front of their own audiences.

It certainly makes less sense for them than the apps Spotify launched not all that long ago to give publishers a way to offer a music service directly to Spotify users.

But for Spotify the reach it gains from the Play button could be an important step towards establishing itself as the online music service – if such a thing can be possible in our fragmented world.


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