You may consider Deezer or Spotify to be an online music streaming “platform,” but a quick look at the wikipedia definition of a ‘platform’ – “a technology that enables the creation of products and processes that support present or future development” – would let you know that it’s still early days for the two in terms of being a platform. Their biggest value-added today is their music streaming service, making them closer to a web service than a platform, when compared to Facebook, whose social network may not be pleasing to teens, but who have become integral in the mobile developer ecosystem in a Google-like way.
No one would say that the entire online music industry runs on Deezer or Spotify today, but the two are hoping to make it that way. After all, they’ve negotiated the deals with the labels, they have the API access to the music; however, to date, their apps leave a lot to be desired. I have tried the Last FM, Songkick, Pitchfork, and other apps on Spotify, and they seem to be nothing more than advertisements for their music industry prowess more than anything else.
Last week, Deezer went a bit further in the road to becoming a real music platform, as it announced that its mobile app would now point to 3rd party mobile apps,and there is no doubt that Spotify, who has yet to implement this, is gearing up a response as we speak. This move may pull developers onto Deezer’s platform, which will make all the difference in the world in the end.
Don’t be fooled by Spotify’s 2 Million premium user advantage over Deezer – that is about the size of Mailbox’s waitlist to date, so let’s just throw that number out the window when you think of the size of the Music Industry globally. What is ultimately going to secure one of these two music monsters is going to be 1 app. One breakout App – A Pandora knock-off with awesome song recommendation, or maybe it’s one of the apps already existing on their platform.
For now, there aren’t many numbers about how many people are developing on Deezer or Spotify’s API, but I suspect it’s not monumental. For you developers out there: what’s stopping you? Is it a lack of ideas? API restrictions? Lack of business model?