Companies that stand to benefit the most from music discovery are creating the technologies to connect Spotify listeners with their music. Record labels created or backed all 12 of the apps unveiled for Spotify's desktop client Thursday.
Three of the four majors and a handful of indies are represented in the new batch of apps. One additional app, " Now That's What I Call Music" created by EMI, is available in the UK but is not one of the apps available to US-based Spotify users. Combined with the 15 apps that debuted November 30th, Spotify now offers 27 apps to help users navigate its immense catalog of music.
Six of the new apps are branded by their record label creators: Def Jam, Domino, Matador, [PIAS], the warner sound and Legacy Recordings' the Legacy Of. Each helps the listener dig into the label's catalog and new releases.
Warner Music Group is also behind the Hot or Not app that allows users to vote on songs - all from the Warner catalog - and earn points and badges along the way.
X5 Music Group is the creator of Classify, a classical music app that allows users to browse a library of music by composer, era, mood, instrument and genre. X5 is the label behind the successful and affordable classical compilations such as "The 50 Most Essential Pieces of Classical Music."
"Our goal is to simplify finding music," X5 Music CEO Johan Lagerlöf tells Billboard.biz. Whereas iTunes and Amazon.com are good at displaying music and encourage browsing, Lagerlöf says Spotify's search engine "isn't that good" and the service doesn't naturally lend itself to displaying music. Spotify is indeed light on visual appeal. Without naming names, an Rdio executive bemoaned the "boring, spreadsheet-like way of consuming digital music" when the company unveiled its album artwork-heavy redesign last week.
The Classify app, built in-house by X5, was created to help people find the music they need in as few as 3 or 4 seconds, says Lagerlöf. Classify lists a number of X5 releases, such as "Classical Chill Out" and "The 50 Greatest Pieces of Classical Music," along with links to composers, eras, instrument and moods (fast, happy, dark, romantic). "The idea is to create a playlist for every possible need."
TweetVine was created at a Music Hack Day by Matt Larsen ( @thebluebadger) and Matt Schofield ( @callmetonystark) and its ongoing costs are paid by Universal Music. The app creates playlists based on tweets that use the #nowplaying hashtag. On Thursday morning Larson tweeted that Tweetvine was "averaging 1,400 launches per hour."
TweetVine is averaging around 1400 launches an hour at the moment, bloomin heck! We are literally blown away by this, thank you so much all!
- The Blue Badger (@thebluebadger) March 22, 2012
The Complete Collection, the most basic of Universal's three new apps, lists the entire catalogs of select artists and labels under the Universal umbrella. The app offers playlists comprised of complete catalogs of record labels (Shady Records, Cherrytree Records, Verve Records) and artists (Lady Gaga to Lionel Richie).
Sony Music Entertainment is behind Filtr, a playlist generator that works from the music tastes of users' Facebook friends. Just type in the name of one or more artists, genre, country or Facebook friend or event and Filtr creates a playlist. If logged into Facebook, a playlist generator will suggest Facebook friends from which to create a playlist. Filtr also offers ready-made playlists and new releases.