Later this evening European time, Spotify is holding a Global Press Conference in NYC to announce "a new direction for the company". If the Wall Street Journal is to be believed, Spotify will announce a new push for third party apps to integrate with Spotify, starting with an "app finder" integrated into the service starting tomorrow. Right now we'll speculate away, but will also keep this post updated as more is announced.
(See updates below the fold):
Spotifiy already has libspotify, a set of APIs to work externally with the service, but what's different about this expected announcement is that the apps will work within the application.
What will this mean for Spotify users? Likely it will be much of the same kind of external plugins you've seen for iTunes and Winamp, like local concert finders based on music taste, lyric finders, and cheesy visualizations.
That's not to say there isn't room for new innovations. Spotify's integration with Facbook has barely exploited their social features. Perhaps we'll see new music-based social games, and god willing, some sort of Europe-accessible alternative to Turntable.fm.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the apps will be free, and accessible to both paid and ad-supported subscriptions.
Update @ 19:30 from the Spotify press conference.
Some fun facts from the intro: Spotify claims to be the second largest online source of revenue for labels in Europe. 1/3 Swedish population uses Spotify, 10 Million active users worldwide. Users have created over 500 million playlists worldwide, number has doubled since July.
"We want music to be like water, available everywhere, available seamlessly."
The big announcement:
Goal is to make Spotify a "music platform". Will provide "Truly integrated apps tailored to you and your music tastes."
Allows developers to make HTML5 Apps, available to use all Spotify features.
Spotify will let you curate the apps you want, to make Spotify yours.
Users can find apps in the "App Finder". You can find Editorial content through Rolling Stone, lyrics, concert Tickets, and so on.
With LastFM's app, there will be tight integration in Spotify. Lets you easily play recommended tracks, see your neighborhood around you, etc.
Another app they featured is TuneWiki. It shows you lyrics, but one cool feature is if you scroll down the page of lyrics, you skip ahead to that part of the song.
Spotify is also partnering with Songkick. It takes your spotify music library and shows you when the music you listen to is playing near you. Not only does it allow you to buy tickets, but it shows you the setlist the band played the last time they were nearby.
The list of partners launching with the app finder include Billboard, Fuse, The Guardian, Last.Fm, Moodagent, Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, Sounddrop, TuneWiki, and We Are Hunted, With Top10 and ShareMyPlaylists coming soon.
The social bar on the right will also be improved. You'll be able to sort your friends to make them easier to find.
From the Q&A:
Spotify will approve apps.
Applications not supported on mobile yet.
No paid apps/profit sharing for developers at this point in time.