Spotify Courts Developers, Launches New Web API With Echo Nest, Metadata And More

As YouTube prepares to launch a paid tier of service to court music fans who like to listen to music online without ads, and Amazon launches its own music streaming service, Spotify is also raising its game on the web. Today the company is launching a new, expanded set of web APIs for developers to build apps that integrate the music streaming platform.

With it, we will see, among other things, Spotify integrate Echo Nest music discovery data — a relatively quick integration of the company that it acquired earlier this year for around $100 million — a sign of the Spotify’s wider ambition to be a platform for all music streaming services.

The new web API comes close on the heels of Spotify also working to upgrade its iOS SDK, but also winding down efforts around the native apps’ app directory. It is one of the biggest updates yet to Spotify’s web version, which was launched in 2012.

The expanded API will add a bunch of new features. Among them, there will be a lot more metadata around the music on the platform, including more track, album and artist details from the Spotify catalog, cover art and 30-second track previews.

Developers will also be able to call up user profiles with name, image, country, email, external URL, and subscriber status (with a users’ permission, Spotify notes).

Users will also be able to call up and create playlists — an essential part of how services like these lock in users who are loathe to lose these in moving to rivals.

The Echo Nest integration, meanwhile, will let developers include discovery and recommendation features.

While Spotify itself has picked up 40 million users to date, with 10 million paying subscriptions, it looks like the company is betting big on positioning itself as a platform play to expand its business further. That’s an important aspect of how the company, reportedly eyeing up an IPO, will convince investors that it is in this game for the long run against the likes of Apple and Google, and now Amazon among others.

In that regard, the integration with EchoNest and the general updates announced today look like they may be just one step of several coming up.

“Spotify and subsidiary The Echo Nest are more committed to the developer community than ever,” Spotify notes in a statement. “Our newly combined platform makes it simpler than ever before to provide amazing music experiences on the web, and these enhancements are just the beginning.”