Apple has approved the Spotify iPhone application, allowing users to stream music to their handsets, despite many regarding the two companies as rivals. The application will be free, but will require the user to have a premium Spotify subscription, which costs £10. The application lets users search for new music and will the storage of temporary playlists on their phone for use when there is no connection. Users can also stream playlists online via their mobiles. The company submitted the application to Apple’s iTunes App Store for its approval in July. Many speculated that the app may not be approved. The move marks a significant change in Apple’s approvals for iPhone applications, and the process is currently being investigated by the US regulators the FCC for anti competitive behaviour.
Earlier this month, Apple blocked Google’s Voice App, ruling the service was too close to those already offered by the iPhone. However, many in the music also industry regard Spotfiy as an alternative, and a credible business model for an industry which has had difficulty adapting to the online world.
Speaking to the BBC, Spotify founder Daniel Ek said: “We’re not surprised but we’re thrilled. We had a great dialogue with Apple from day one.” Ek told BBC News that he was confident the app would bring a big surge in premium subscribers. “We’re scaling up the systems because response has been tremendous even before the app is available,” he said.
The service, which launched last year, now has more than two million users in the UK, and more than six million across Europe. It has not yet launched in the United States but says it intends to do so by the end of the year. The company has already demonstrated an application for mobile phones running Google’s Android software, though that has not been made available to the public.