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Spotify creates 'Follow' Web button for more social tracking

The on-demand streaming music service makes a bigger push as social network outside the confines of its application, creating buttons for the Web that let users quickly follow artists.

Spotify house at SXSW 2013.
Spotify house at SXSW 2013.
James Martin/CNET

Pin it. Like it. Now, alongside those buttons, you could click one to Spotify "Follow" it.

On Tuesday, Spotify said it has created a button that anyone can embed alongside other social media links on any Web site that will let users of the streaming media service follow artists, magazines, blogs, admired individuals, whomever. It moves the social-networking element of Spotify out of its walled garden; before, users who wanted to follow somebody had to do so inside Spotify's applications themselves.

The expansion efforts of online music outfits of all stripes -- radio and on demand -- have been under heightened scrutiny since the launch of iTunes Radio last month brought a new major competitor into an already crowded field of services jockeying for Internet users' listening attention. Apple said its iTunes Radio notched more than 11 million unique listeners in the first five days after its September 18 launch on iOS 7 and the desktop iTunes software. Such rapid adoption underscores the uphill battle facing smaller participants like Spotify.

The new Follow option gives users updates within Spotify of developments like an artist's latest album or a new playlist compiled by a magazine or blog. Those who use Spotify to gain a greater following can put a Follow button alongside other social media links.

Spotify created its Follow tab earlier this year to expand its social networking elements, similar to "liking" an artist or celebrity on Facebook.