Spotify is rumored to soon launch a browser-based version of their streaming service, "multiple sources" tell TechCrunch. Currently the Spotify service can only be accessed through their desktop client or through their mobile apps. The downloadable clients work well enough for most people, but a browser-version will likely help Spotify expand by reducing friction - it's hard to show off Spotify when you're on your friend's computer.
This move puts Spotify in more obvious competition with Rdio, the browser-based music streaming service created by Skype founders Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis.
Rather than being a straight port of the desktop design, the browser version is has been described as having a larger focus on music discovery through your friends activity. There hasn't been any major updates to the Spotify design since they released their social features, so it will be interesting to see how the service will be reinterpreted for the browser.
Another of TechCrunch's sources say that Spotify is eyeing another pricing tier for mobile, likely somewhere around $8 a month.
I accidentally close tabs all the time, which is why I'm quite content with Spotify's standalone application. But I am curious to see how the service can be re-envisioned, because I'm kind of bummed with Spotify's social features. The social bar going down the right side of the application only tells you the first three letters of the song your friends are listening to, and it's still tough to search for and find good playlists.