Superficially the story is straightforward. Spotify has a popular music service. It wants to grow further. It produces an iPhone application. It hopes Apple approves it for inclusion in the App Store, rather than blocking it. If Apple doesn’t approve it, that’s bad news for Spotify. Right? Wrong.
Wrong, because Spotify has already banked one major benefit from the App, and gets a second if Apple rejects it.
The first major gain is that – despite the iPhone’s very small market share – people and the media love talking about it. Produce an iPhone App, and even if no-one ever uses it, you can get a huge burst of free publicity.
The graph, from the BlogPulse Tool, shows the enormous spike in coverage of Spotify on blogs following the news of its plans to launch an iPhone App. Even now, the level of discussion hasn’t yet fallen back to the levels of June and July:
Job number one done.
If Apple end up trying to block Spotify from the iPhone, then that’s another bonus too. Because it paints Apple as the nasty big brother, stuck in the old ways whilst Spotify is the new upstart, with clever technology that’s well designed and intended to free people from the shackles of the old ways of doing things.
That would be a fantastic boost to Spotify’s reputation and image – and, like the online buzz, one that reaches out beyond iPhone users to a much wider group of people who hear the positive noise and are attracted by the anti-big bad Apple positioning.
In fact, one might almost think Spotify could run a TV advert like this: