When Kieron Donoghue launched ShareMyPlaylists back in 2009, I thought he was just a little crazy to be building a startup on the back of Spotify’s lack of social features and an ecosystem that didn’t really exist yet. Sure, the music streaming service had a somewhat unreliable API, but it hadn’t even launched in the US and wouldn’t do so for some time. There was no Spotify app store either and, besides, how long would it be before the company introduced playlist sharing and other social elements of its own (in April 2010, it finally did and they’re still crap).
But ShareMyPlaylists has survived to this day, buoyed by its web app, mobile apps and, yes, Spotify app. And now the UK startup is offering to take that expertise and build Spotify apps for other brands with the launch of SMPapps.com.
Now, it would be tempting to call this a pivot in the making, but it isn’t — I’m told that ShareMyPlaylists is doing just fine, thank you. And it’s not uncommon for a consumer-facing startup to add a B2B string to its bow, particularly in Europe as it often brings in immediate revenue. In fact, along with its own ShareMyPlaylists Spotify app which is now on version two, the company has already built apps for Coca-Cola Germany, and Purina Petfoods.
“ShareMyPlaylists is still the core focus and our main business”, says Donoghue, CEO and founder. “SMPapps will run alongside it and we may eventually spin it out into a separate company when it grows big enough but for now it will compliment ShareMyPlaylists by adding another service that we can offer to the record labels, publishers etc. that we work with already”.
He also says that the advantage of Spotify is that it allows a “legal way for apps to integrate with Spotify’s rich catalogue of over 18 million tracks”.
With regards to that bet made back in 2009, Donoghue says that he was sure that Spotify would be successful enough to build on top of. “I knew from my conversations early on with key Spotify staff, that their focus was always on being a platform”, he says, “so yes I had an inkling that they would move in this direction and I’m delighted to see it take off”.
The close relationship that ShareMyPlaylists has with Spotify and the startup’s experience of building Spotify apps, says Donoghue, means that SMPapps is well-placed to navigate Spotify’s vetting process on behalf of the clients that it plans to work with.
“We’re very familiar with Spotify’s strict Q&A process which is in place to ensure that only apps of a high quality get approved and released, so we build apps that meet their guidelines from the outset”, he says. “That coupled with our close relationship with the Spotify team that now spans over 3 years means that we’re the perfect choice for anybody looking to get a Spotify app built.”
So there you have it.
As for how ShareMyPlaylists is doing: To date, 100,000 Spotify playlists have been uploaded to the site by users and claims over 1.5 million unique visitors each month. It generates revenue through selling advertising.