Spotify has created a way for fans to embed any song from its catalog on their websites and blogs, the company announced Wednesday. The Spotify Play Button takes the URL of any song and turns it into an embed code which can be pasted into a webpage, allowing any and all comers to hear the song.
Embedding music is by no means a new concept, but previously it required having an actual copy of a song to back it up (or embedding a whole YouTube video that displays the song’s lyrics in curly fonts). Now, anyone with a free Spotify account can use the service’s songs to play music outside of the desktop or mobile applications. The service allows users to embed both songs as well as their own playlists, and while it lacks the pop-up and banner ads of the desktop app for free users, audio ads still appear to play.
The Play Button also externalizes the service more broadly than just embeds. For example, in the past, clicking on a tweeted link to a song would force users to open the Spotify app (if they even had it) to hear the song. Now if users tweet the embed link, the song will open in a browser tab or window, with no app needed (at least on the receiver’s end, though they still need to have a Spotify account to play it). An obvious extension, maybe, but a cool one.
Spotify has told Engadget that the company has struck no new deals with regard to the rights of its music catalog, which may mean its lawyers think embeds are fair game under the agreements Spotify already has with record labels. Here’s hoping it sticks.