Spotify begins testing browser-based music streaming app, potentially challenging Pandora

Spotify began rolling out a beta for a browser-based version of its music streaming service today, according to The Verge, moving into a space which is occupied by Internet radio service Pandora and others.

The beta is officially live in some regions for a select group of users. When the browser-based version of Spotify is out of beta in the next few months, The Verge has learned, users will receive Facebook invites.

The browser app apparently looks a lot like its desktop counterpart for Mac and Windows, with features like search, Spotify Radio, playlist editing and creation and a “What’s New” section. The browser-based version of Spotify will likely be free with the inclusion of audio and banner ads.

Now Spotify will have its service on mobile and web browsers just like Pandora, Rdio and IHeartRadio. Both Spotify and Pandora are achieving ubiquitous distribution of their services on mobile platforms such as iOS, Android, Kindle Fire, BlackBerry and now web browsers.

Pandora’s recently updated its iOS app to version 4.0 (coming soon to Android), which adds features from Pandora for desktop such as listening timelines, activity feeds and social sharing features, most likely in an effort to combat Spotify.

Pandora director of product user experience Asi Behar said the only competitor he thinks about is terrestrial (over the air) radio.

“We’ve been singularly focused on the fact that we are revolutionizing radio,” he says. “It is radio, but personalized. That has been our focus. That continues to be our focus”

Rumblings about a browser-based player first occurred in September.