Spotify Adds Offline Play; Another Niche Premium Offering

Much-hyped streaming music app Spotify is introducing what may be one of its best reasons yet to go premium – the ability to store playlisted songs offline.

Although the recently released iPhone and Android clients introduced this functionality for premium mobile users, allowing them to continue listening without a network connection, desktop users still needed to be online. But the company will this afternoon announce an extension of offline mode to the desktop app.

This will mean little to the vast majority of Spotify users who are always connected from their desk to the Spotify servers. But it does tempt toward premium a minority who may want to listen to their songs whilst travelling or, as Spotify’s man puts it, “if you’re at summer house with no connection at all”.

This does not mean songs can be transferred out of Spotify to other devices or players; that’s not the Spotify model (though it offers MP3 downloads for purchase via 7Digital, iTunes Store and Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) MP3). And Spotify already caches songs offline to some degree; it just doesn’t let users play them without a connection.

The service was in July targeting a Q3 or Q4 U.S. launch, after much hype in the six European and Scandinavian countries it’s already available in. It subsequently told us this month: “We are looking into launching a slightly different offering in the US but it