Wait, what? Epic have made some rather bold moves since setting up their own storefront – chasing exclusives by the dozen, firing at Steam with aggressively dev-friendly revenue shares, using Fortnite to take trillion-dollar tech companies to court. Now, they’re branching out of the games bubble, adding monolithic music streaming service Spotify to their platform earlier today.
No, really. It’s right there, just below Hyper Scape.
It’s not an entirely unprecedented move, and even Steam has dabbled in non-games from time to time. But they tend to be creative toolsets or professional software packages, a little more niche than broad appeal streaming services like Spotify. This isn’t a one-off, either – from the sounds of it, Epic plan to bring more non-games apps to their Store.
“Spotify is among the first non-game applications being offered on the Epic Games Store, and you can expect more in the future,” Epic wrote in a press release “We’ll continue to work with partners to continue to grow the store’s offerings for our players and create a more robust platform for developers.”
I would understand this move it more if, perhaps, it came with some kind of special integration. A way to easily slap background music over whatever Epic Games game you’re playing, perhaps, or even just a means share tunes with your mates. But as it stands, I’m not entirely sold on why you’d download Spotify through Epic and not, like, through their own website.
Of course, this move may be more for Epic’s sake than ours. By filling their store with more than just games, Epic are positioning themselves further towards platforms like Apple’s App Store or Google Play. While that still makes it an odd prospect on PC, it aligns with Epic’s plans to bring the Epic Store to mobile, creating an alternative store to the ones they’re currently filing lawsuits against.
It should be noted that Spotify is a weird ideological choice for this first partnership, mind. While Epic boss Tim Sweeney is forever espousing the benefits of paying fairer shares to developers, Spotify has become notorious for paying artists pitiful amounts per-stream. Getting a household name like Spotify on Epic must’ve been tempting, though, enough so that Epic aren’t even taking their usual 12% revenue cut from subscriptions made through their store.
Who knows. Maybe next year’s Spotify Wrapped will show you which artist you played the most during Fortnight sessions. What a world that’d be.