Spotify is taking action against apps and services for exporting playlists

Spotify vs SongShift Export

Whether it is a smart move remains to be seen, but the fact is that the streaming provider Spotify is actively taking action against services and apps that enable the transfer of Spotify playlists to other music streaming providers.

This option will no longer be available in the future: Export of Spotify playlists and import into Apple Music (graphic: SongShift).

This option will no longer be available in the future: Export of Spotify playlists and import into Apple Music (graphic: SongShift).

Well-known example: SongShift

The programmers of the app SongShift, which has already been presented by Sir Apfelot, has already been "processed" by Spotify. They were threatened that their Spotify developer account would be closed if they did not remove the export function for playlists from Spotify.

Of course, the SongShift team had to give in herebecause loud Spotify's Developer Terms of Services It seems that it is not allowed to use the API to export playlists.

Unfortunately, as of SongShift v5.1.2, you will no longer be able to create transfers from Spotify to another music service. We understand this will be a disappointment for a lot of you. We wish we didn't have to. [...] The Spotify Developer Platform Team reached out and let us know we'd need to remove transferring from their service to a competing music service or have our API access revoked due to TOS violation. While this is not the news we wanted to hear, we respect their decision.

In the area "Restrictions"Of the Terms of Services for Spotify Developers you can find this excerpt:

Do not improperly access, alter or store the Spotify Service or Spotify Content, including (i) using any robot, spider, site search / retrieval application, or other tool to retrieve, duplicate, or index any portion of the Spotify Service or Spotify Content (which includes playlist data) ...

I think that is the passage that now makes life difficult for providers like SongShift.

Export prohibited, import allowed - pretty shabby ...

In my opinion, a real "knockout" is that Spotify does not generally prohibit the import and export of playlists, but rather sets clear preferences here. While the export (for example for moving to other music streaming services) is not allowed, the import (for example for moving TO Spotify) is quite desirable. I can only classify this regulation as a "shabby tactic" to make the move as difficult as possible for existing customers.

Apple One vs Spotify?

Given the coming Apple One offer, which also includes the family account for Apple Music, I could imagine that Spotify is afraid of losing customers to Apple right now.

Perhaps Spotify's current campaign against playlist transfer services is a desperate riot to do something about it.

Apple One subscription models

Here you can see the different subscription models that Apple offers for the "Apple One" service.

Aren't playlists the property of the users?

If you look closely, you should actually be able to force Spotify to export its playlists. Basically, all of the data that ends up in a user's Spotify account is - in my opinion - "protected" by the GDPR and should therefore have to be transmitted at the request of the user.

However, I am not a lawyer and cannot make any reliable statements about it. However, I am sure that at some point a Spotify customer who is a lawyer will get upset about their business practice and consider taking appropriate action.

Disgruntled customers take action

There are already the first Spotify customers in forums and blog comments to say that they find Spotify's actions so questionable that they will close their account - simply to set an example.

The playlist export does not necessarily have to be used for a move. There are certainly customers who use several streaming services in parallel. For them, tools like SongShift are a convenient way to manually synchronize their accounts. The ban on Spotify offends these customers. I dare to doubt whether this will ultimately lead to more and more satisfied customers ...


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