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Spotify gradually rolling out new follow, discover features

Online music streaming service Spotify today announced new follow and discover features that aim to aid both users and artists, but the roll-out won't be fully completed until early next year.

The Swedish company announced a new "follow" tab that allows users to get music recommendations from friends, artists, "influencers" and media, as well as a "discover" tab that aims to aid music discovery by sharing recommendations based on listening history, and the music and playlists shared by followed users.

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Spotify will also notify users of new single and album releases from the artists they follow, including mobile push notifications for premium subscribers, and will allow users to add complete albums without having to create a new playlist.

A Spotify spokesperson confirmed the new follow tab, social feed and notifications will begin rolling out to "a select number of users" next week, but stated the remaining features would arrive early in 2013.

The new features were revealed at a media event in Sydney this morning, which followed on from a global event in New York overnight. At the US event, Spotify announced that the full Metallica discography is now available on the service.

Spotify's Australian managing director, Kate Vale, announcing the new features in Sydney this morning.

At the Sydney event, Spotify's managing director, Kate Vale, revealed that Australia and New Zealand are the most successful country launches of Spotify so far but refused to reveal local numbers.

"While we can reveal exact local numbers, to put it into context, Australia and New Zealand are the most successful country launches of Spotify globally so far," said Vale.

"Before we launched into the market six months ago we had high hopes for success. We knew that Australia's highly engaged music loving community and world leading Facebook and smartphone penetration markets, meant that there was every likelihood that we would have a successful launch. But we've been absolutely blown away by the number of people who have jumped on Spotify."

Spotify announced that the full Metallica discography is now available on the service.

In addition to the new follow and discover features, Spotify also revealed it is working on Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 apps.

"I can definitely confirm that we are working on a Windows Phone 8 Spotify app, so watch this space," said a Spotify spokesperson.

However, the company was less committal when asked if it would overhaul its Android tablet app, which is currently just a stretched smartphone application that doesn't work in landscape orientation.

"It's [the Android tablet app] not like the iPad app, but we do want to be agnostic and be on every platform."

Spotify currently boasts over 20 million active users and over five million paying subscribers globally, making it the most popular music streaming service in the world.

The new Spotify features come as Rdio, one of Spotify's major competitors in Australia, launched a makeover of its iOS and Android applications last week. The update provided the same look and feel of the recently-revitalised Web interface.

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