Though planned music services from ISPs Sky and Virgin Media (NSDQ: VMED) are still just vapourware, bundling music downloads with broadband and mobile subscriptions is clearly one way to drive legal consumption.
So Swedish telco Telia has signed a “two-year cooperation agreement” to deliver Spotify on desktop, mobile and – eventually, it says – TV.
Details are scant, but the cost of a Spotify subscription will be bundled with Telia’s mobile and TeliaSonera broadband packages, starting “in a few months”. Telia’s pages say: “We will have very good deals with Spotify Premium, special Spotify phones and mobile surfing packages.” It’s Spotify’s second ISP partnership, following one with Sweden’s Bredbandsblaget, which has come to an end now.
As Spotify acknowledges in the announcement, this means its “services will be sold and marketed in a new way in the Swedish market”. Spotify has proved itself compulsive to users; now allying itself with ISPs could prove lucrative for it – and absolve the ISPs of the pain of negotiating all those complex label deals…
Could ISP alliances be the “different” delivery method Spotify is eyeing for a U.S. launch? And will Spotify also get carriage with Hutchison Whampoa’s 3 and INQ mobile firms by virtue of Li Ka-Ching’s investment in the firm?
While Spotify looks for tie-ups, Napster – firmly in the shadows now – is halving the price of its unlimited streaming service to £5 a month, promoted with a free first month via Carphone Warehouse. The pricepoint undercuts Spotify’s £9.99-a-month plan.
Napster parent Best Buy has owned half of Carphone’s retail operation since last year.
Napster streaming is via web and desktop app, with five MP3 downloads to keep, too. Via Billboard.biz.