Spotify integration = free music for games?

Spotify can be integrated into unreal engine, and songs can be played in it, like if they are being played in a web browser. Does it mean that we can put Spotify in our games and use songs of famous artists?

I would say it would be a bad idea on multiple levels, the licensing of the music would be one thing, but I would imagine that Spotify would want you to get proper licensing to integrate their service as well. So while it might technically be possible it’s probably not something you should pursue without getting licensing rights.

I am not a lawyer, but in my opinion licensing music for games and using Spotify that already has a license to play songs is a bit different, since by playing the song via browser or game - you are playing it in Spotify and the author receives royalties from Spotify for that.
I have seen this in use by “caves rd”

Just because someone else has done it doesn’t mean it’s legal, it likely just means they aren’t popular enough to get noticed.
Even though Spotify pays for the licensing rights, you did not pay them to have it in your game. The argument would be that you could possibly have sales of your game due to that feature that you wouldn’t have otherwise, so you’d be making money off the music without paying anything for it.
Also, what’s the point of having the feature in your game? Why can’t someone just load Spotify in their browser and have music playing while they are playing your game? If you think it’s valuable enough to have as a feature in your game then surely Spotify and the musicians would think it’s worth having you pay them for that?

With the amount of bait & switch from big-tech and their ultra-capitalistic lust for rent-seeking the :duck: out of everyone not in the C-suite - its better to be skeptical here. So keep expectations low. Even if this offer is real, it could disappear with fine-print before Indies even ship. No such thing as as a free lunch and all that. Plus Spotify and the whole streaming biz is in legal trouble for paying creators nothing. So profits will get squeezed. :wink:

The answer is no.

From Spotify Developer Policy | Spotify for Developers :

From Complying with Spotify's developer policy | Spotify for Developers :

There’s other stuff, too, but those are the ones that best answer your question.


Just to add… There’s lots of royalty-free music available if you search around (even just on these forums). Lots of talented creators… So why not try to find something that fits the project. Instead of looking to stream music that gamers can just do themselves anyway. :wink:

Actually, that’s not what’s happening. I just played the game with my internet disconnected, and the music still played, meaning it wasn’t streaming from Spotify, but playing locally; the Spotify icon on the player just links you to the artist’s Spotify page. There’s also music credits provided in a pdf, and one says “license provided” meaning they licensed that song.

it’s not a problem of licensing per se, Spotify as a platform doesn’t work like that.
The correct question is:

“Does Spotify offer a public API/plugin that can be used?”

The answer is still no probably.
I would think that once Spotify see the potential of that, and there is, win-win, make a plugin/API et voila, Spotify becomes the de-facto standard in videogame music, they are missing a trick there!

Some expansion of their API here would be a killer:

The general rule for any type of content not made by you that you want to integrate to any project is simple as it could be: you need a license, a written permission of the author or any legal document that grants to you the specific right to use as you intend.

By the way, this very specific thread was created almost two years ago in an attempt to address doubts on several levels and it is a “must” read for every developer:

It is not quite as simple as that.

1st, there IS an API to control Spotify from Unreal:

2nd, the permission stuff is far more complex than you suggest. That is why Spotify is so appealing.
Anyway I am trying to get clarification (from Spotify) right now if controlling spotify app from within the game is allowed or not.

Their wording in the documentation is very unclear to be honest. Their talk of personal use refers to not end user listening in personal use (vs a Karaoke bar, broadcast or what not). Commercial apps seem to be ok as long as the commercial part is not tied around Spotify and the Spotify related stuff is not charged for.

I will update here I f I get some kind of response from Spotify.

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The way I see it, Spotify is a service.
If your app tunnels their log in and allows an existing client to login and use their service which they actually pay for, then 90% of all legal issues aren’t on you.

Now whether Spotify chooses to allow developers to do this or not, that’s the remaining 10%.
From what was shared above, it’s murky as hell.

My 2c.
Pay a starving artist if you can’t compose yourself.
There’s a billion of them. They don’t need to be famous to put 4 chords together.

In case you don’t know, I’ll give you a great source for how music has worked in practice:

If you want “famous” people to generate buzz for the game, that’s a different story entirely.
Buzz is overrated.
Take cyberpunk? The musicians are anything but famous, yet their music not only fits but the game is built around it. And it actually rocks though I wouldn’t go Downloading the LP just to play it…