Spotify versus Apple

I, like two million other people in the UK have recently discovered the wonders of Spotify. For the other 59 million people, I should explain that it is not the latest cure to a bout of acne, but is in fact a streaming device that enables you to play a host of musical tracks through your PC, be it classics from The Beatles or the latest chart toppers.


In fact, there are over six million tracks to choose from and what's more, it's all free. The downside? Well, unless you're willing to pay £9.99 per month then your musical experience will be interrupted every few songs by a 30 second advert. However, I think you'll agree that is far less intrusive on your ears than the three or four adverts a commercial radio station brings, or for that matter, the annoying ramblings of some over-excited DJ. What's more, you can even create your own playlists and send them to your friends.


Of course, the fact that these tracks are streamed means you don't actually own them and as such you will need an internet connection to play them, but it's plain to see why the service is proving so popular.


It's been a wonder of mine for a while now as to when this service would hit the mobile arena, and duly this week came the news that the brains behind Spotify had developed an application version for the iPhone. However, as with any third party application and Apple, nothing's plain sailing. Spotify is currently nervously awaiting Apple's decision as to whether to allow its app to be sold via the Apple App Store. To be fair, you can't really blame Apple for its hesitation. After all, it has its own music offering in the shape of the ever popular iTunes.


Spotify has already stated that its iPhone version would only be available to premium subscribers (i.e. those willing to pay the £9.99 per month), but this in turn would enable them to save their playlists on their phone and therefore play them without the need for a Wi-Fi or internet connection. The question therefore is, would you pay 79p for one track from iTunes, when £9.99 will give you an unlimited music return?


Yet, can Apple afford to turn the service down? If I was a betting man I'd be willing to make a small wager on Spotify already having plans to introduce a similar application for the Android market. If that proves to be the case, and Apple turns Spotify's iPhone offering down, then the Californian outfit could inadvertently be shooting itself in the foot. With more and more Android based handsets hitting stores, our five star rated HTC Hero being the latest, Apple can't afford to lose any more customers to the opposition. On that basis, as much as Apple will deny it, Spotify actually holds the upper hand.


Tell us what you think. Are you a Spotify user? Would an iPhone application be enough to persuade you to get one? Likewise, would an Android Spotify app convince you to get a Google-based device?

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