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Spotify takes fight to iTunes with iPod app

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Spotify takes fight to iTunes with iPod app
09:54 CEST+02:00
Swedish music service Spotify has launched an iPod app, as the firm seeks compete for music sales with Apple's iTunes and expand user options after imposing restrictions on its free streaming service last month.

The new option means that customers will be able to import the mp3 playlists that they have created in Spotify and play them in the Apple media player iPod.

“Our users don't want to have to switch between music players, but they do want to take their playlists with them wherever they go, on a wider range of devices, more simply and at a price they can afford," said CEO Daniel EK in a statement.

"Now we've made that possible on one of the world's most popular consumer devices,” he added.

Non-paying users will also be given access to the popular iPhone app.

Spotify is also moving into music sales, turning up the heat on iTunes with a new payment scheme enabling customers to buy songs in groups of 10, 15, 40 or 100.

Ten songs will be 99 kronor ($16.36) whereas the price decreases to 6 kronor per song if the customer purchases 100 songs. However, all songs within a ‘package' will have to be bought within a month for these prices to apply.

“It has been possible to purchase songs through Spotify before but we honestly think that this hasn't been a good experience. A very limited part of the catalogue has been available and it's been fairly complicated,” Chief Product Officer Gustaf Söderström said.

The idea behind the scheme is that customers should pay the same price for a compilation package of their favourite songs as they would when purchasing an album.

However, it is only the local files or mp3 play lists that will can be synced to the Ipod. The Spotify catalogue can only be streamed on the iPod Touch, iPhone or an Android device with a Premium subscription.

Launched in 2008, Spotify is one of the world's largest streaming services with a reported seven million free service users and about a million paying users.

Since the launch the service has allowed users to stream music to their computers for free in exchange for listening to advertising.

Users can also pay 49 or 99 kronor ('Unlimited' or 'Premium' subscriptions) to gain ad-free access to the service where the more expensive option allows users to listen to their playlists offline and to access their music through their mobile phones.

In April Spotify announced they were bringing out new limitations to their free service.

From May 1st, users are limited to ten hours of free listening per month after the six-month introductory period, and will only be able to play any individual track a total of five times.

According to TT news agency, Spotify's free service has been a stumbling block in the protracted negotiations involved with bringing Spotify to the US market.

The changes are likely to help ease discussions, thus paving the way for Spotify to establish itself in the United States.

Competition is getting fierce with new actors on the market, amongst others the Norwegian Wimp and several other music-streaming companies in the UK.

This summer yet another service called Beyond Oblivion is supposed to be launched in the US.

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