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Spotify's branded apps will let Intel, McDonald's, and others help curate your music

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Spotify is preparing to launch branded apps for its streaming music service, allowing companies to advertise with music curation tools.

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We're used to having Pitchfork recommend music for us, but what about AT&T? Last year, Spotify launched "apps," which allow official partners or developers to set up playlists or other features around the central Spotify experience. Now, the company will be doing the same for advertisers. Next week, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek is expected to announce the launch of brand apps. The apps themselves, made by partners that apparently include AT&T, Reebok, McDonald's, and Intel, will appear in the next few months.

Spotify is hoping to become the "OS of music," but as far as we can tell, these apps will be more akin to a Facebook brand page than a piece of software. Spotify's Jeff Levick hopes that "brands will build these apps and they'll spend their marketing dollars to promote them on and off Spotify," and subscribers will enjoy some extra features on each app. AT&T's "Surround Sounds" will let users search a map for music that was recorded or performed near a specific location, for example, and Reebok's app creates workout playlists. It's possible these will be genuinely useful, but we haven't been all that impressed with most Spotify apps so far.