Spotify ‘Play Button’ Brings Streaming Music to Websites

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Get ready to see a lot more Spotify around the Internet, thanks to a new tool that brings the streaming music player to websites.

Spotify’s “Play Button” looks like a standalone music player, but it’s actually a remote control for the Spotify desktop app. Much like Facebook’s Spotify player, to hear any music you must have the desktop app installed and running.

(MORE: Want to Use Spotify? You’ll Need a Facebook Account First)

Until now, the web has been short on reliable, legal ways to post music to a blog or website. As a workaround, a lot of sites look to YouTube, a fertile ground for songs masquerading as video files. (Here’s an example.) But music posted to YouTube isn’t always done legally, and the quality can sometimes be poor. Spotify, which offers millions of free songs for on-demand streaming, is a more sensible alternative.

Publishers who want to embed Spotify’s Play Button must copy the “Spotify URI” from within the desktop app–found by right-clicking on any artist or album–then paste the link into a form on Spotify’s website. The form spits back a code that can be pasted into your blogging platform of choice. Some major publishers, such as The Huffington Post and The Guardian, are launch partners.

Spotify is no doubt hoping that its embed codes become ubiquitous for music in the same way YouTube’s codes have become for video. But Spotify has a different endgame than YouTube: Ultimately it wants people to subscribe to its Premium service, which costs $10 per month for smartphone access and other perks.

That’s presumably why the Play Button is tied to the desktop app, and is not a standalone music player. It’s easy to forget about a single stream on the Internet, but installed software sticks around.

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