Spotify is planning to introduce its first browser-based application on Thursday, according to The Verge.
Citing anonymous sources “close to the company,” the report states that the new browser-based player will be similar in look and feel to the previous desktop versions that users downloaded for Mac and Windows computers. The app will feature all of the standard Spotify features such as Radio, a “What’s New” section to assist with content discoverability, and the typical search and playlist creating and editing tools.
The app being introduced Thursday will be a beta version. The Verge states that the company’s intention with the new app is to “supplement” rather than replace the existing downloadable apps.
The report was confirmed Thursday morning by The Next Web, which quoted a statement from Spotify that said "we’ve launched a beta version of a Spotify web player that we’re testing with a small number of users," but that they would not offer "more detail on the web player [until] next year."
Offering a browser-based app expands Spotify’s potential user-base enormously by reducing the possible barriers to entry for the current the downloadable app. User who, say, want to listen to the service on a work computer where downloads are controlled by a centralized security system or otherwise limited can now listen to music without lugging their Mp3 players to work. The addition of a browser-based app thus makes Spotify similar to an earlier popular music-streaming service like Pandora, which still offered users a spontaneity in their experience that Spotify has not yet been able to rival.
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"Potentially it’s a great additional feature for times you can’t play music through the desktop app, like at work or at a friend’s house," the company said in its statement.
There is no information yet about whether or not the browser-based app will still require users to log in to the service to access music streaming, either with their existing Facebook account or creating a unique Spotify username, a feature that would still impinge on the services “plug in and play” capabilities.
But a browser-based player has long been at the top of users’ request for the London-based startup. The lack of one has long been one of the glaring differences between Spotify and rival services like Rdio or Pandora. Details remain vague about what kind of software Spotify will use to support the new browser-based app, but Spotify's desktop versions use peer-to-peer technology to accelerate load-times. Its mobile apps, meanwhile, stream content straight from the company’s servers.
Spotify has recently faced a number of high-profile financial reports from the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal about the company possibly completing a fresh round of fundraising for an additional $100 million in investments.