Streaming music service Spotify is bringing the Spotify Apps third-party ecosystem to its new web-based player and mobile apps in January, a move that should make it easier to discover music in Spotify’s many applications.

Spotify chief product officer Gustav Söderström told me today after Spotify’s New York event that the third-party apps that have been available inside Spotify’s desktop app — which includes great apps like Pitchfork, Soundrop, TuneWiki, and We Are Hunted — will indeed be moving to the web and mobile apps.

“We’ve been working on this for more than a year,” Söderström enthused. “I can’t wait for people to experience it.”

We’d heard previously that Spotify Apps would head to the iOS and Android platforms eventually, but we did not have a timeline. Now we know Spotify Apps should land on mobile and the web player early in 2013.

The first three apps integrated with the web player are Pitchfork, Songkick, and Tunigo,  Söderström said. Other apps should be announced soon. “We have convinced a bunch of others to get on board, but we don’t have timing yet,” he said.

As a big fan of Spotify Apps (check out five of the best Spotify Apps), I believe they are essential to the future of the service. The apps greatly simplify finding new music from a variety of publications and music labels. They also can help connect you with other people who like the same music. It will be exciting to see how these apps function inside web and mobile.

Spotify also used the event in New York today to announce that it now has 5 million paying subscribers and that its web app would be available to most users in January. The event also featured a lively back-and-forth between former adversaries — Metallica’s Lars Ulrich and Napster cofounder Sean Parker — talking about piracy and the future of music.