Swedish firm joins battle for online music market

Jennifer Heape
Jennifer Heape - [email protected]
Swedish firm joins battle for online music market

Innovative Swedish music-streaming site Spotify confirmed on Tuesday a series of major music licensing deals to coincide with the launch of its new international site.


Key members of the music industry such as Universal Music Group, Sony BMG and EMI Music, among others, have agreed for their content to be included in Spotify's new service.

“We are compensating the artists and other rights holders but we cannot go into details about the structure of the deals,” Spotify spokeswoman Sophia Bendz told The Local.

Describing itself as “instant, fun and simple”, Spotify operates by streaming music direct to people’s computers, negating the need for timely downloading.

"Our mission is to provide the best possible music experience by allowing people to listen to whatever they want, whenever they want", said founder and CEO of Spotify, Daniel Ek, in a recent statement.

Music lovers will gain unlimited access to millions of tracks from a huge range of artists and can share music between users and create collaborative playlists.

From Tuesday, Spotify will be launched in Sweden, the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Finland and Norway. Further expansion is planned during the rest of 2008 and into 2009.

Listeners can access music on Spotify either through their ad-dependant but free, invitation-only site, or by paying either a daily or monthly subscription fee.

Sophia Bendz told The Local that ultimately the site will be available to all free of charge, without the need for an invite.

Spotify claims to combat music piracy by offering a "superior user experience, whilst monetising licensed content."

Rob Wells, Senior Vice President of Universal Music Group pledged his company’s support for the site:

"Subscription streaming services are the future of digital music consumption. Spotify is an excellent consumer experience," he said in a statement.

As a service providing unlimited and instant access to music, Spotify illustrates a consumer move away from pay-per-song models as implemented by market leader i-Tunes.

"Spotify is a compelling new way of connecting artists and fans which reflects the shift we are seeing in digital music from a total reliance on a-la-carte services to the addition of new models that provide instant and legal access to our artists' music," said EMI Music commercial developer Stefan Blom in a statement.


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