Spotify, SoundHound combine forces in apps – but only in Europe

by Phil Hornshaw

A couple of big-name mobile apps are joining forces to make finding and listening to music a lot easier – at least in Europe.

SoundHound, which provides mobile apps that use a device’s microphone to “listen” to songs playing nearby, then uses an Internet connection to identify them, has teamed up with Spotify to provide new services through both companies. Spotify is the European on-demand music streaming service that recently crossed the ocean to the U.S. after much waiting. It allows users to find and play pretty much any song they want to – it has a catalogue of more than 15 million tracks – in either an ad-supported version or for a monthly fee.

Both services provide some pretty useful mobile apps, and both appear on both Google’s Android operating system and on Apple’s iOS platform. The combination of the two opens up the ability for mobile users to use SoundHound to discover information about songs, then immediately launch Spotify to play them. It adds even more cool features to SoundHound, which recently added lyric tracking to its bag of app tricks.

That’s not a bad deal, considering that SoundHound could formerly bring users to the tracks they either searched for using the service (you can type in searches by band, song and album) or identified by sound, but only made them available for purchase. The partnership with Spotify, instead, makes it possible to listen to the song immediately, with no purchase required.

According to SoundHound’s press release, Spotify integration will be available to both free and paid SoundHound users, although you will need to be a Spotify Premium user, which runs about $7.99 a month. That removes the ads from Spotify and gives you unlimited access to the service, which can also play the music you have on your computer as part of your playlists designed in Spotify.

The only trouble with the whole partnership as it stands is that it’s exclusive to Europe. You’ll need to be a premium subscriber to Spotify in Europe to take full advantage of the link-ups with SoundHound, and the press release doesn’t say anything about the features possibly bridging the Atlantic.

It seems kind of doubtful that the SoundHound/Spotify partnership won’t reach to the U.S., though. It’s possible the two companies will use Europe as a testing ground, where Spotify is incredibly popular, to see if users start to gravitate toward the new features before spreading them to new markets. But it does seem that SoundHound will gain a lot more usefulness with Spotify’s help, and Spotify will become even cooler with the addition of SoundHound song-searching.