A new iOS app has broken down the barrier between Apple Music
and Spotify to make music-sharing truly universal again.
On Wednesday, Vertigo announced that it’s now integrated with
both Spotify and Apple Music to help people share music
regardless of which premium subscription they have. When
it launched just last month,
Vertigo (iTunes) required a Spotify Premium membership so
that users could find music, build playlists, and share
live-streaming listening sessions with friends and followers.
Now that Apple Music accounts can be linked as well, Vertigo’s
become the first iOS app to foster this type of cross-platform
music-sharing. You can import your playlists from either Apple
Music or Spotify Premium, find new music from the catalogue,
and share songs in-app so that your friends can listen using
their own subscription.
No one wants to have to choose between Apple Music friends
or Spotify friends.
“No one wants to have to choose between Apple Music friends or
Spotify friends when it comes to sharing and listening to the
universal language of music together,” said Greg Leekley
CEO and Co-founder of Vertigo.
Vertigo is not just a simple song-sharing app, however. In
addition to finding songs, creating playlists, and listening to
music ad-free, Vertigo offers “live sessions.” These sessions
basically let you live-stream while listening to your favorite
music. You can share live video and photos, chat in real-time,
or add audio commentary while the song is playing.
Vertigo gives you the option to share a live session with
another Vertigo user, your “core” group of friends, or the
entire app community. Thus, the app’s function ranges from
collaborative listening to live-streaming centered on
Apple Music and Spotify continue to battle it out to be the top
music streaming service. Apple’s main weapon has been exclusive
content in the form of album premieres from artists like Drake
and Frank Ocean. Meanwhile Spotify has continued to improve its
personalized playlists while also adding video clips and
podcasts. In this fight, it’s vital for each service to keep
users within their gated platforms. So, how was a third-party
player like Vertigo able to nab APIs to integrate services that
are so intent in differentiating themselves?
It helps that Vertigo is doing music-sharing the legal way
because it allows only users with paid subscriptions. You may
remember that Spotify’s free tier has been a source of
contention for artists. But for each song shared on the Vertigo
app, Apple Music or Spotify still pays royalties back to
the rights holders. And the royalties are amplified with each
listener who joins in with his or her own music streaming
Why you should care: Since Apple Music
and Spotify have near-identical catalogues, the services are
constantly looking for ways to differentiate themselves.
Spotify’s social aspect is certainly a key feature in that
service—one that Apple Music has not been able to replicate. In
fact, Apple has downplayed the social features in Apple Music.
Connect, the service’s social network that lets artists post
updates, went from being its own tab to being hidden in iOS 10.
Vertigo could help fill that noticeable social void for Apple