Beats Music is turning to app developers to help spread its new streaming music service to the world.
The Beats Music API taps into nearly all the same tools that Beats uses to develop its official apps. That means developers could create unofficial Beats apps for new platforms or devices, and come up with new ways to access the service’s 20 million songs.
Bop.fm, for instance, aggregates streaming music services such as Beats Music, Rdio, and Spotify onto its own website. This allows users to play and share songs across multiple services from a single location. Sonos has also used the API to add Beats Music support to Sonos home speaker systems.
Beats itself also created source code for some of its own sample applications, including a MOG playlist mover that helps users migrate their collections to Beats, CNet reports. (Beats acquired MOG prior to building Beats Music, and will shut the service down next month.)
The launch of an API should help Beats compete better with other streaming music services such as Spotify and Rdio, both of which offer their own tools to developers. When identifying a song in Shazam, for instance, users can then press a button to listen to the song through Rdio or Spotify. The Beats API could allow for similar functionality in the future.
Spotify, however, still goes a step further than its rivals, with an app store that’s built into to Spotify’s desktop software. The app store allows for curated stations from publications and record labels, new playlist creation tools (such as the mood-based Moodagent) and even a way to display lyrics along with your current track.
Beats Music launched in January, with a focus on helping users discover new music. The service costs $10 per month—there’s no ad-supported free version, unlike the ones offered by Spotify and Rdio—but a free trial is available.