Spotify Bans DLNA App For PS3?


Guest writer Israel Kendall provides a detailed outline of the issues at hand as well as a great video demo of the product in action.

If you’re a Spotify subscriber and own a PlayStation3, you’ve probably often wondered how long it would be until there is a Spotify app for your PS3. The more tech savvy among you probably know that you can stream Spotify to your PS3 using Jamcast. This article isn’t about Jamcast, but about a new plugin for Jamcast that has been banned by Spotify.

Jamcast is a program you can download an run on your PC that streams audio to any DLNA enabled device, including Sony Google TV, Logitech Revue and the PS3. It allows you to not only stream your music collection from your local hard drive, but also music services such as Spotify and Pandora. So, if you can already stream Spotify to your PS3, then what’s this article all about?

It’s all bout an amazing new plugin Software Development Solutions Inc (the maker of Jamcast) was able to create for Jamcast utilizing the Spotify API. In it’s current form, when streaming Spotify to your PS3 using Jamcast, you still have to control the Spotify client from your PC. But with the new plugin users would be able to actually control Spotify from their PlayStation 3 controllers, allowing you to access all your playlists, starred music, friends, inbox, top lists and more- complete with album art, and all right there in your living room.

Check out this preview video showing the Jamcast plugin in action, then read on below for more:

Looks pretty awesome, right? I think so too, and I’d love to have this on my PS3! After seeing the preview video this morning, I spoke with Scott Streaker, CEO of Software Development Solutions Inc, to find out when the new plugin would be available to the public. The answer? Never.

Spotify has strict Terms of Service for developers using their API, and until recently were not able to use it for any commercial means. Currently, developers are allowed to use the API commercially as long as they submit their products to Spotify for approval prior to release.

This is exactly what Scott did, he submitted the new Jamcast plugin, complete with the preview video to Spotify for approval. After a bit of a wait he received an answer, the new Jamcast plugin was a no-go. Spotify will not allow it to see the light of day.

Why? Because Spotify considers this “re-streaming” or “rebroadcasting” of their content, even though it’s only rebroadcasting it from your PC to your PS3. I totally understand Spotify not wanting people to rebroadcast their music streams, but not wanting me to rebroadcast it to my living room? Now that’s just ridiculous.

Spotify has been making big moves into the living room space recently, first via the WD TV Live, and then on Boxee. Given this demonstrated motivation to occupy our living rooms; given the fact that Sony may never allow a Spotify app on the PS3 to compete with their own Q Music Unlimited service; and given the fact that you would have to be a Premium Spotify subscriber to use the plugin (only premium subs can use API’s), you would think Spotify would be ecstatic about this new plugin. It would not only be a great solution to getting Spotify to the PS3, but also would be another “perk” to entice free subscribers into upgrading to the premium Spotify service.

What do you think, should this plugin be allowed, or do you think Spotify is justified in banning it? I personally feel that “rebroadcasting” my Spotify stream to my living room should be completely acceptable within the Spotify TOS. Actually, it is. I read through the Spotify TOS both for users and developers and could not find one mention of “rebroadcasting”. So, what gives Spotify?

You can check out Israel Kendall’s Gnarld blog here.


Discussion6 Comments

  1. A) I generally hate the nonsense that people write (eg. Jakomi) about what people are companies have a right to do. Most things are not that simple as, especially where a paying customer is concerned, as a paying customer is paying for a limited license to the content, and thus general public law comes into play. (e.g. copyrights).

    In fact, this is mostly likely the reason that this plugin was banned — because it can make it too easy for the spotify app to be the unwitting enabling party in a breach of license/redistribution scandal. If the spotify app can be controlled remotely by ps3, there’s no guarantee it can’t be controlled “very remotely” by someone to distribute high bitrate bit-bit copies of the songs over the network. That would seriously breach their contracts with the rights’ holders.

    I wish spotify would just release a ps3 app. my ps3 is so under-utilized and so under-enabled. stupid sony.

  2. I love my Spotify subscription but whichever unlimited service gets to my game consoles first will get me for life. I’m not buying a whole new device just for a service that could go out of business at any time. I imagine the same can be said of the other hundreds of millions of console owners.

  3. Jakomi,

    I agree, Spotify does have the right to prohibit any commercial activity they want. And honestly they don’t even have to give any reason for it if they don’t want to. It’s just rather disappointing to me that they would do this, because as a paying subscriber I would like to have this option available to me.

    While they certainly may have another solution in the works to get Spotify to the PS3, and a direct competitor to this solution would possibly not be welcome, then why would Spotify release an API?

    While Spotify can control what is done commercially with their API, they would not be able to prevent this if it were released for free. And if this were released for free it would still have the same adverse effect on any theoretical deal that Spotify may have in the works.

    Anyways, those are just my thoughts and opinions.

  4. My thoughts are that a). Spotify has the right to refuse any commercial activity as it is there business. Simple as that. b). If you read between the lines it probably suggests that Spotify might already have an alternate partnership deal which will allow PS3 user access to Spotify and as such Spotify do not want to adversely effect such a deal by allowing a competitor solution to be utilised.

    I can understand Software Development Solutions Inc. being disappointed. However it is standard business practice to operate in this way.

  5. Hi Gern,

    Thanks for commenting, I do see where you may be drawing your conclusions from, but allow me to clarify this a little.

    First, here is the link to the TOS for the Spotify API:

    While what you say about commercial use is partially true, in the last line of the TOS it states: ” If you would like to make use of Spotify in a commercial way, then please contact our Partner team before you engage in any work.”

    This means that commercial use is allowed, but you must get approval from Spotify through the proper channels. This is what Jamcast did, they submitted their plugin for approval through the proper channels with Spotify for commercial approval.

    Now when I say Spotify denied the Jamcast plugin because of “rebroadcasting”, this is not an assumption on my part. I spoke with the CEO of Software Development Solutions Inc and asked him why Spotify turned them down for release of the plugin. “Rebroadcasting’ of Spotify streaming content was the reply he received from contacts at Spotify.

    In conclusion, it is not I that am saying this is about rebroadcasting. It is Spotify saying this. If they turned down the plugin due to “commercial” reasons then I imagine they would have stated this in their response to Jamcast.

  6. If you took the time to read the Spotify TOS, you’d see the clause that prohibits developers from monetizing their apps if Spotify is integrated. If Jamcast was completely free, then the app wouldn’t have been banned.

    This isn’t about rebroadcasting.

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