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Spotify launches app platform

Third parties can create free apps for use in music-streaming service

Spotify is to allow third parties to create apps that can be used within the music-streaming service.

Spotify Apps, which are currently only available in a Preview version – Spotify's equivalent of a Beta - will allow web users to access editorial content, concert and gig information and even recommendations of other tracks without leaving the software. Rolling Stone, Songkick, Last.fm, TuneWiki and the Guardian are among some of the developers that have already created apps for Spotify.

For example, the Rolling Stone app provides album, song and playlist recommendations based on the track you're listening to while TuneWiki's app displays the lyrics in time with the music while you're listening and The Guardian app offers album reviews.

The apps are free of charge and developers must submit their ideas to Spotify for approval before building the apps.

"Spotify Apps are a bunch of cool, exciting and integrated apps inside Spotify, created by some of the best and brightest in the world. Each app brings you a new music experience tailored to you," said CEO Daniel Ek.

"We're opening up our platform in a way that lets you curate the apps that you want, and really make Spotify yours. This is the beginning of something game-changing for digital music."

Initially the apps will only be available to those that use the desktop version of Spotify. However, the music-streaming service said if the apps prove successful they may be rolled out to the mobile versions of Spotify as well.

Spotify offers a catalogue to 15 million tracks that can be streamed for free over the web, although tracks are peppered with adverts just like commercial radio and limited to five plays each. There's also two paid-for services, that are priced at £4.99 and £9.99 per month respectively and offer unlimited ad-free streaming, while the more expensive version also lets users access the service through their mobile phone.

The service currently has 10 million users, 2.5 million of which opt for the paid-for versions. It's available in 12 countries, including the UK and US, and more than 500 million playlists have been created using the service.

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