Spotify plans to launch Top 50 lists of the most popular content on the streaming music service today, complete with on-demand preview access so that even those without accounts can listen to the tracks. The new scheme – which will see the most-streamed songs listed in the “Spotify 50″ and the most-shared songs in the “Social 50″ – will be updated weekly, and is part of the company’s attempt to fight back against new cloud jukebox options like Google Play Music All Access.
As well as being available on Spotify’s own site, the two new charts will be offered as embeddable widgets for third-parties to use. Those widgets will basically be mini Spotify music players, with each of the fifty tracks available to listen to without having to register first.
Other tweaks to Spotify’s service include greater transparency about total play count, with the company planning to reveal how many times – since October 2008 – each track in its catalog has been listened to. That, the company says, will be of particular interest to artists and record labels, as well as hopefully luring new talent in to share its content on Spotify too.
Spotify has made a big push into social in its last few iterations, focusing almost as much on connecting with friends and celebrities as it does on music itself. Back in December, the company launched Spotify Music Graph, playlists that could be guided by famous listeners, and Spotify Collections, shaped by a user’s friends on social networks like Facebook.
It’s in for some competition, however. Google announced its much-rumored streaming service, Google Play Music All Access, last week at I/O, and while the name may be unwieldy, the premise of a large catalog of tracks and tight Android integration is likely to be popular. All Access also addresses one of the common criticisms of cloud jukebox systems – that of track choice overload – with dynamically-created playlists automatically selecting themed music with unlimited skip potential.
Meanwhile, Apple is tipped to be finally intending to launch a subscription-based unlimited access service of its own this year, dubbed by some “iRadio”, and which could easily bite into Spotify’s iOS user-base.