Can Spotify really compete with Apple?

Spotify is rolling out new versions of it’s desktop and mobile applications in an effort to compete with Apple iTunes.

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Instant media gratification is one of the things that makes the internet so great. In particular, the ability to access music anywhere.

There are a million and one places to stream or download music online – all boasting a host of different features and content, but Spotify has stood out as the best for some time now, or at least most popular.

Today, it was revealed by TechCrunch that Spotify is rolling out new versions of it’s desktop and mobile applications that should dramatically improve the service’s usability and appeal.

Spotify is also introducing a new ‘store’, which will allow users to download music bundles in addition to streaming them. Offering downloads isn’t a new feature, but previously users were restricted to downloads on a song-by-song basis and the selection was average at best.

As a result of the update, downloaded tracks can now be synced to a user’s mobile device (iPod, iPhone, Android etc.) by hooking them up to their desktop. This is sure to rustle a few feathers in the Apple camp.

And it’s not just the premium users who will benefit as the updated service means that all users will now be able to enjoy Spotify on their mobile –  a service previously unavailable to the free users.

Spotify Chief Product Officer Gustav Söderström said, “Accessing music on your mobile phone is the future, but today that makes up a pretty small percentage of music fans. We want to open up the Spotify experience to as many people as possible, and in a way where they can get exactly the music they want”.

A wise move indeed. Spotify may have established itself as the big player in the digital music world but with so much competition it has to strive to keep all of it’s customers happy, not just the paying ones.

It seems that Spotify really is planning on giving iTunes a run for it’s money. But can it really compete?

At this time Spotify is only available across Europe (sorry rest of world), but to have a serious shot at competing with iTunes it will have to capture the global market. A Spotify spokesperson said that they’re “getting closer” to achieving  a US launch. It’s been a long time coming, that’s for sure.

The company also needs to expand its library. 13 million+ tracks may sound a lot, but trust us, it won’t take long before a band search serves you up a load of dodgy covers or live recordings. Not cool.

Minor annoyances aside, we’re an office of avid Spotify users and we’re thrilled to see the company upping it’s game. We’ve been fully fledged Premium users since Christmas now and it’s so far, so good.

iTunes beater – perhaps not yet, but Spotify is definitely heading in the right direction.

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