Spotify has agreed its first mobile operator partnership with 3 as the music service continues its push to gain premium subscribers.
The HTC Hero phone, which uses the Google Android operating system, is understood to be the first 3 phone featuring the Spotify app and is slated to launch before Christmas.
It’s to be followed by a range of 3 phones bundled with the music service. new media age revealed the two companies were in talks this summer (nma.co.uk 6 August 2009).
The move will pitch Spotify against Nokia’s unlimited music download service, Comes With Music, which 3 was also the first operator to support in October 2008.
3’s Spotify tariffs are yet to be agreed but the operator is working on deals including mobile access to Spotify’s ad-free premium service.
Jeremy Paterson, MD of music consultancy Frukt, said the tie-up would allow Spotify to grow by tapping into 3’s customer base and marketing budgets. “Spotify has a fairly narrow demographic and isn’t yet a mainstream service,” he said. “A deal like this will broaden its user base and take it to mobile phone shops in places like Barnsley.”
In a blog post last week, Spotify founder Daniel Ek said he was focusing on “significantly improving our portability”.
3 parent Hutchison Whampoa made an undisclosed investment in Spotify and recruited Frank Meehan, CEO of handset manufacturer INQ, to its board in August.
Spotify launched its direct-to-consumer mobile app for Android and the iPhone in August for £9.99 a month, along with ad-free streaming, on PCs in its attempt to convert its 2m UK users into premium subscribers.