Spotify apps tipped: reviews, tickets, lyrics & more

Spotify will announce app support, enabling third-party functionality such as music reviews, lyrics, nearby concert information and ticket purchasing to be accessed via the streaming music service's PC and Mac software, at the event later today, according to insiders. App development will be opened up freely to developers, though Spotify will test and approve each before releasing them to users, the WSJ's sources claim; yesterday, it was suggested that Spotify's big announcement today was that the company would in effect become an "authentication layer" between labels, developers and users.

The apps will be free – at least initially – and available to Spotify users regardless of their subscription status. Currently, only premium subscribers get ad-free and mobile device access to the Spotify catalog, while ad-free listening on the desktop also requires a monthly fee; however, apps will be made available to both paying and ad-supported listeners.

There are now 2.5m paying subscribers Spotify claims, helped by the company's deal with Facebook in September. A US launch took place earlier in the year, with the service running in Europe for several years before that; concerns among labels about whether Spotify could find enough users willing to pay hamstrung US negotiations.

We'll know for sure what Spotify has to show us in just a few hours time, with the company readying a press event in New York City to make its big announcement. Stay tuned for all the details!