Why Apple should buy Spotify

Rants January 18, 2013 • 1 min read

I'm not always up-to-date with music. I listen to what I listen to. But as a developer music services interest me.

Years ago, I created LastPlayed — an app around sharing your playlist with those around you. A social soundtrack to introduce you to new music. I've since let it die to the rise of giants like Pandora and Spotify.

Spotify spoke at our recent TimesOpen Hack Day. I learned more about their service. Things which made me think of Apple, and why Apple should buy Spotify.

Expanding iTunes

For years, Apple has tried to expand iTunes with services like Ping (#Fail) and iTunes Match. Clearly Apple wants to evolve iTunes into a social network.

Buying Spotify would give iTunes the boast it needs. By integrating Spotify with iTunes both sides benefit. Spotify can grow subscribers with the appeal of the larger music collection offered by iTunes. Apple can up-sell music downloads.

Expanding the App Store

Spotify has its own app ecosystem. But as far as I can tell, all these apps are free. While a great a value add for Spotify subscribers, they're missing an opportunity for monetization.

If Apple buys Spotify, Apple can package the Spotify API with in the next iOS SDK release. Opening the door to a larger developer base to develop both free and paid apps. I know I'd be very interested in developing such apps.

The time to buy is now

Apple has the cash. I have to believe the revenue generated by expanding iTunes and the App Store alone would show a return on investment. Apple should buy Spotify — before Facebook does.

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