As reported by the Wall Street Journal today (and echoed via Techmeme), Spotify plans to launch a “top 50″ chart that will give fans and the music industry insight into which songs are most popular on its freemium music subscription.
Update: Spotify tells us Spotify must be running in the background to play the charts. It does appear possible to play music on web-based Spotify playlists like this without running Spotify for the desktop — if you are registered with Spotify and are signed in to either Spotify or the Facebook account associated with your Spotify account.
Even in that case, however, the SpotifyWebHelper runs in the background, so you still have to have Spotify for the desktop, as our article originally claimed.
Another Update: We regret the error, but apparently, “SpotifyWebHelper” is not part of Spotify. The company says it is not associated with that software, which is installed on both my Mac and PC. It probably came from a tutorial like this one.
The rest of this article needs to be updated as follows:
Spotify spokesman Graham James had confirmed before the original version of this article was published that the WSJ report was inaccurate about Spotify’s ability to play its charts in the web. Indeed, Spotify has to run in the background for that. However, to play stuff from Spotify’s web player, he now confirms that it can in fact run without Spotify or SpotifyWebHelper. He said,
“No one [at Spotify] knows where you got the program ‘SpotifyWebHelper.’ That’s not something that is required or coming from us.”
So, there we have it. Spotify has a web-only player, which is a big shift –but in order to play its new Top 50 Charts, you’ll need to run Spotify in the background. We hope this clears up any confusion.
Here’s what’s up with Spotify’s chart: It will list the 50 most-played and -shared songs on Spotify. The former will be called the “Spotify 50,” the latter the “Social 50.” On top of that, Spotify will reveal the global playcounts for all of an artist’s songs to that artist, which is a nice level of transparency.
The charts likely build on the success of Spotify revealing that the new Daft Punk single was the most popular song on its service, a revelation that echoed around the world.
Spotify’s charts are live, and there’s also an embeddable version: