June 27, 2012 at 9:34 am

Spotify’s First Artist Apps: Disturbed, Quincy Jones, Rancid, and Tiësto

spotify artist apps

Spotify announced a new batch of apps for its free and subscription-based desktop music service on Wednesday morning for four artists/bands: Disturbed, Quincy Jones, Rancid, and Tiësto.

These apps, which bring the total number of Spotify apps that run within the desktop client to 39, offer a selection of music curated by the artist and some nice extras. You get Quincy Jones talking about what it was like to work with Michael Jackson and the “We Are The World” project; Rancid’s Tim Armstrong explaining the effect of hearing the Ramones on the 8-track deck in his father’s truck; Tiësto’s latest music picks, and more.

For Spotify, this represents a new way to bring people into their app ecosystem — and keep them listening. Although these new artist apps (like all official Spotify apps) only work within the desktop version, subscribers can save the music as playlists they can play on an increasing number of smartphones, tablets, and televisions.

One of these apps (Disturbed) isn’t live yet, but here’s what we’re seeing so far along with the official descriptions:

The Quincy Jones Spotify artist apps presents three pages of Stories, which are extensive playlists featuring special interview tracks interspersed with regular Spotify tracks that Quincy helped produce. It also includes “Albums — ten seminal works by the great artist and producer.

Quincy Jones – The Stories Behind the Music – Exclusive audio by Quincy is combined with tailored playlists and incredible artwork to tell the stories behind his amazing career in music. Quincy will talk about his personal heroes and mentors, the art of hit-making, and how music is used in movies; all to a soundtrack that brings these amazing stories to life.

quincy jones spotify

The Disturbed app is “coming soon” (screenshot courtesy of Spotify).

Disturbed: The band Disturbed curate the past, present and future of rock and metal music with playlists from each of the band members, special guest playlists and a journey through the last few decades of Rock and Metal.

“This app in Spotify lets us create a really cool and visual place where we can pull together the music that influenced us, the music we’re listening to now and the bands that we think everyone will be listening to in the future,” said David Draiman from Disturbed. “Combining this app with Spotify’s catalog is a great way for us to share all of this with our fans.”

disturbed spotify app

As one might expect from a DJ, the Tiësto showcases the artist’s tastemaking skills, with “single of the week,” “album of the week,” and other spotlights where he can keep his fans (and fans of his brand of dance music) updated on the latest hot releases within Spotify.

Tiësto’s Club Life: Superstar DJ and producer Tiësto curates the best of dance music  across Spotify. The app will include a single of the week, album of the month, festival of the month, and a chart of the hottest dance music.

“Spotify is one of the most exciting platforms out there, helping to redefine the way people listen to music,” said Tiësto. “I’m delighted to be part of it, and to give dance music fans a new way to discover artists, albums, festivals, and to share what I’m into.”

Rancid’s Spotify app features curated playlists along with text from each band member about a punk rock album that influenced them.

Rancid: Punk veterans Rancid curate the world of punk and the music it continues to heavily influence.  Every week the band and friends will add to a playlist of picks that will include information on the tracks and bios of the pickers. Rancid’s Tim Armstrong will use the picks to take fans on a trip to his personal record room to take a deep dive into the music that inspires him.

“I always want to share music with my friends and tell people about artists, both new and old,” said Tim Armstrong from Rancid. “Nothing is more gratifying to me than turning people on to music and making it a part of their lives and then, them in turn, turning it onto other people. There is nothing like having music in common. We are truly looking forward to this whole thing.”

rancid spotify app

This is all part of Spotify’s grand plan to become the OS of music. The company had already let third-party developers, labels, and brands curate music within its desktop software with these apps, which have boosted listening since the November launch of Spotify’s desktop app platform. It only stands to reason that artist apps have entered the mix, and it’s hard to see why an artist wouldn’t want to make one of these.

According to Spotify, “A number of other artists and music experts will be launching apps in the coming weeks and months, including Steve Aoki, and artists from the worlds of rock, pop, hip-hop, jazz, and R&B.”

The only mystery: What will happen if every artist on Spotify has an app?