Two days ago this blog reported that rumours were circulating that Apple was about to approve the Spotify app for the iPhone. Yesterday those rumours intensified when the iPhone app store removed the Spotify descriptor from three applications, which meant that they did not appear in searches for Spotify. This prompted speculation that Apple was preparing for the real deal.
This evening ‘paidcontent.org’ broke the news that an Apple spokesman had confirmed that the application had been approved and would be joining the 65,000 other iPhone applications. This is a massive step forward for the music streaming site as only subscribers to the premium version of Spotify (currently £9.99 per month) will be able to use the iPhone app. In a few short months they have broken the mould for paid music content and distribution. They have also leapfrogged the major social network sites by monetising their business model almost overnight.
Spotify’s online PR strategy has been exceptional. They built interest in the App by teasing it on iTunes as early as January. They also created interest in an Android version which put added pressure on Apple to approve. Ultimately Apple was bound to approve. Spotify had already achieved a phenomenal brand equity in the few months since it was launched. The app will sell iPhones because it is so good and Apple makes more from devices than it does from the iTunes store plus music streaming uses a lot of bandwidth and ultimately that’s commercially good for Apple and their partners.
It will be interesting to see is how long it takes Apple to turn iTunes and its store from a pay per track model into a subscription based streaming site that competes directly with Spotify.