Help Wizard

Step 1


What legally counts as synchronization of music?

What legally counts as synchronization of music?

As the Developer Terms of Service state, an app utilizing Spotify Services / Content may not synchronize music to "visual media", such as videos and slideshows. So obviously, things like adding a soundtrack to a movie are out of the question.


What I am unsure about is at what point something becomes synchronization to "visual media".  This app ( featured on Spotify's community showcase has the user move around a 3D maze made of album art, and when you bump into or click on different album art, a song from that album plays. I'm interested in this idea of looking at things with different songs associated with each of those things, but to me that seems like synchronization with what the user is viewing, like a soundtrack to a game or slideshow. 


Can someone point me to a more in-depth resource that explains what counts as synchronization of music, or explain why this app doesn't violate the Terms of Service? Does it have to do with the fact that the music playing is controlled by the user's actions, instead of it being a timed sequence that you hit "play" on and sit back?

8 Replies

I've realized that perhaps the 3D maze app doesn't count as synchronization because the only thing displayed visually on the screen is album artwork, which is what you'd be looking at when streaming normally anyway. But I'd still like to know whether displaying other data or graphics on screen in this way would be synchronization.

Have you got any response from anyone on this question??

Nah, not yet unfortunately. I'll update this post if I get answers elsewhere.

From what I understand , you cannot choose what to play over anything but I believe a user can. Like you can’t play bon jovi on your app page like it’s got something to do with your brand. But if a user is paying money to use Spotify I’m sure they can listen to whatever wherever they want.  Just from what I get from a legal standpoint but could be wrong 

Also to add,


if you want to be safe then just use the external outbound redirects to start playing on Spotify and then redirect back to the app, then it’s not streaming via API on your app. 

Trying to get my head around this suggestion so that it's not streaming via API. Can you explain it in a simpler way what you mean, because I might need to avoid the same problem?
(novice here)

Streaming the music via the API means actually "calling out" to spotify and telling them to start playing the song on your application, you are fully controlling the users playback. Using an outbound url is like if someone sent you a text message using the spotify share song link. They will have to leave your app to go listen to the song, but spotify is very kind and offers you a return to your application. So no, they're not listening to the music ON your app, but it could help you achieve what you're looking for. Make sense?

That does makes sense. Thank you.

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