Wisperings are coming out from the interwebs that Spotify, the ad-supported or subscription based internet radio service that’s based in Europe catering to the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Finland, Norway and Sweden, is about to launch a music subscription service that boasts unlimited downloads for £9.99 a month. Considering that the cheaper albums on iTunes cost £7.48 with many more costing much more than that, a £9.99 a month subscription to Spotify for mp3 downloads seems mighty attractive.
Spotify already offers users of it’s internet radio access to click-to-buy tracks from 7Digital with a library of 6 million tracks on their site. A mobile service is also in the works that lets users download individual tracks to their phones so they can groove on the move. The company is currently in talks with mobile phone networks and handset manufacturers aiming to offer the service as a package. Nokia already offers a similar year based service ‘Comes with Music‘ that offers customers who buy the package with the phone a year’s worth of unlimited music downloads. An integration like this into mobile phone packages could be a real boon for Spotify, especially if it manages to jump the hurdle and cover both the desktop and mobile markets with one service. The company, based in Stockholm, launched the service out of beta in February and already has some one million subscribers across it’s available countries. Spotify say that they have about 40k new subscribers, mainly to their free ad-supported subscription, every day of which 50-60% are from the UK, a large market for iTunes. Spotify are also attempting to bolster their offerings with a range of exclusive content including videos and interviews with artists which coupled with unlimited music downloads may make their subscription services tempting to many in the services catchment area.
It will be interesting to see what happens with regard a DRM free mp3 music subscription service and it’s impact on iTunes which is finding that it’s variable pricing scheme isn’t going down so well now that the record companies have forced it through. Many critics have stated that they believe that Apple should push out a music subscription service and if Spotify gets it right first out the door, Apple might come under a bit of pressure in Europe.
Looks like Revolution was telling porkies. Wispers were as wispers can be, miss translated.
Spotify came out saying that they have no intention of shifting their current model for an download subscription service. A Spotify spokes person was quoted by Pocket-lint saying:
“Spotify’s core aim is to provide a user-friendly music streaming service with the added flexibility of offering paid-for downloads in partnership with our external partners. That is not set to change”.
Shame as a DRM free subscription service looks more and more plausible. Maybe Apple will hit us with something at WWDC.