It’s no secret that Spotify is moving from a client-only desktop experience to a browser-based one: the company’s web player has been available to a select number of users for a few months. Today, it’s opening up more.
“Now you don’t need to download Spotify!” explains the title of an email sent to users today.
“Try our new web player on your computer – now available as a beta version at play.spotify.com. The web player will be a real bonus because there’s no app to download. So whether you’re at the office, or round at a friend’s house, simply log in to your account and hit play.”
Visitors to the web player can sign up for Spotify using their Facebook login or email address, while existing users can log in to access all their playlists. A pop-up encourages them to drag the Spotify Web Player button to their browser bookmarks bar for easy access.
“We’ve been letting a small number of users try out a beta version of our new web player. We’re now letting more UK users try out the player as we gear up for a wider rollout,” a Spotify spokesperson told Music Ally, when we asked about today’s email. We understand that the email invite (right) has been sent out in the UK, rather than globally.
Missing for the moment from the web player: the third-party apps that are available in the desktop version, and its social features to see what friends are playing. Spotify’s soon-to-launch Follow tab is also notable by its absence.
Moving into the browser is an important move for Spotify, not least because rivals like Deezer and Rdio are already there. For now, this is for computers only though, as the email from Spotify makes clear: “On a mobile? We’re sorry, the web player is currently available only from a desktop browser.”
Some people are already wondering whether this is old news, and in a sense it is. Spotify’s web player was being speculated about in September 2012 on various news sites, before its availability was discovered by The Verge in November – some people gained access at that point, or were invited by Spotify.
One challenge for Spotify now is to manage its rollout of new features across its desktop client, web player and mobile/tablet apps. Up to this point, the desktop client has always been the lead platform.