A new business model
Music streaming service Spotify has announced it has now made versions of the software available for free on the Apple App Store and the Android Market.
Spotify has received a fair bit of press since its launch last year as the potential business model of the future for the music industry, which continues to struggle in vain to recoup losses in revenue from illegal peer-to-peer file sharing.
It works by allowing end-users to stream music for free, but if they want to download the MP3, they need to click through to a ‘download partner'. Spotify also says it generates revenue using an ad-funded model for the free service or by selling the ad-free premium service.
Until today you could only use Spotify on the PC or Mac, but the fact that the mobile versions, while available to download for free, only actually work if you subscribe to the premium service, reveals where the Spotify business model really lies.
The smart money must lie in allowing people to stream a track on their mobile device and buy it there and then if they don't want to be dependent on a wireless connection to be able to listen to it whenever they want.
"This is a hugely significant day in Spotify's short history," said Gustav Söderström, director of portable solutions at Spotify. "As of today our users can access that music wherever they want, providing them with the best of both the online and offline worlds. We've now made it even easier to listen to all the world's music, anywhere on the planet."