Spotify is today rolling-out its first ever browser-based music player in beta, according to a report published on The Verge that was confirmed by the company. Spotify told Billboard it is looking to release the fully baked product "over the next serval weeks or months."
Reports on the launch of a Web-based Spotify have been circulating since early September. A major advantage to having a web-based platform is it allows subscribers to access Spotify from any Internet-connected computer without having to first install or download software.
An image on the Verge site evokes the downloaded desktop version with, "Spotify Radio," "playlist editing and creation," and What's New" sections. Much like its app and desktop versions, the Spotify browser-based edition will have both premium and freemium access with the latter accompanied by audio and banners ads. Though Spotify currently charges the standard rates of $9.99 per month for mobile access and $4.99 per month for PC access, no mention of pricing was given in the report.
The report also said Spotify's web platform will not replace the company's desktop download version but is meant to "supplement it."
Spotify, up until now, has been the only subscription service in the U.S. to require users to download and install an application on a personal computer - which has been a common complaint among its users. In offices, public computers and other places where users' ability to download software is prohibited, the new web-based version will make the music streaming service more accessible and should accordingly increase its user base.
One possible disadvantage to a web-based version, as the music streaming service's FAQ page explained, is that the downloaded version provides "a much better user experience and audio quality" compared to browser-based sites.
Competitors like Rhapsody and Rdio have desktop applications -- PC-only for Rhapsody -- as well as browser-based versions. Mog has a desktop application for Apple only.
Though its desktop version has lacked some of the visual frills of its competitors, Spotify is widely-considered user friendly as its both fast and easy to use - two characteristics its browser-based version will have to live up to.