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August 28, 2009

Spotify music to stream to Apple i-Phone

‘Rival’ music store application accepted for App Store

By CBR Staff Writer

Spotify the ad-funded music streaming service that was at one time seen as a major rival to Apple’s iTunes music store is to be made available on the i-Phone, after Apple confirmed it has agreed to include it in the 65,000 strong App Store.

The Spotify app would be free to download, but users would need to sign up to Spotify’s monthly subscription plan costing £9.99 in the UK. 

Currently, the service is not yet available in the US, but it is only a matter of time. The service has already picked up around two million users in the UK, and more than six million across Europe since being launched last year.

Spotify PC users can search for music, build playlists and libraries and listen to them while online, interrupted by occasional adverts. 

A move to the smart-phone is seen as a best way to push premium subscribers, whose listening is ad-free, and who can temporarily store playlists on their phone for use when there is no connection. They will also be able to stream playlists.

As well as potentially driving Spotify’s revenue, the service could help push music sales.

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Universal Music in Sweden is already reported as saying that Spotify is driving more music revenues than the rival Apple iTunes. One report cites Per Sundin, head of Universal in Sweden, as saying that Spotify has become ‘our largest digital source of income and so passed by iTunes.’

Apparently some of the big record labels like Sony BMG, Universal Music, Warner Music, EMI and Merlin own almost 20% of the company, and Facebook investor Li Ka-Shing has also just become a major big stockholder in Spotify. 

His Hutchison Whampoa has taken a stake in the streaming music service with $50m said to have been invested. It is a move some are saying could signal the possibility of a Spotify Facebook merger.

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