Pardon us for our United States-centricity, but somehow the fact that Spotify sold downloads in Europe and the UK, just like iTunes and Amazon do, had escaped us — or, rather, it did until yesterday, when the UK-based Pocket-Lint noticed that Spotify had canceled the feature, with the news spreading fast via Techmeme.
Spotify is the leading music subscription service. Subscription services are by their very nature substitutional for downloads.
In that light, the idea that Spotify Europe and UK had a download store in the first place is weirder than the news that they are killing it off.
Pocket-Lint’s observation led to Spotify responding, in part, “We recently updated Spotify to further simplify the service and pave the way for new features announced at the end of last year.”
This is more of a sign that Spotify is probably rolling at least some of these upcoming features soon (screenshots). At last month’s Manhattan press event, we heard that the first of these new features could be rolling out in mid-January, so this move jives with that.
We also heard something about “a Swedish sense of timing,” and that it will probably take a couple of months for all of the new features to show up. When that happens, it should become easier to discover and collect music inside Spotify, in part because the company is A) moving away from thinking of the playlist as the chief way in which people collect music, and B) it’s going to offer a unified dashboard where you can see music of possible interest to your taste from all sorts of sources (details).
For now, today’s “big” news is that Spotify Europe and UK are no longer pretending to be iTunes. We suspect that for most people reading this, that won’t change a thing.