Spotify, the joyous music app, has launched an updated download service, seemingly in a bid to generate additional revenue.

The move comes a month or so after Spotify enabled offline access for both the deskptop and iPhone app. It makes it much easier to purchase songs, by promoting the download service via highly visible icons. Previously you had to jump through hoops if you wanted to buy music via Spotify.

Songs cost 79p and full albums are available for £7.99, though not every song or album can currently be purchased. Downloads can be added to Spotify playlists in the usual way.

So how does it work? A new ‘Buy’ icon is displayed alongside tracks that are available for download. Click the icon and a pop-up appears, with some terms and conditions to agree to. 

After that, you’re invited to pay for the tune by entering your card details, rather than agreeing to use the existing card details held by Spotify to process subscription payments. The download service is powered by 7digital, which explains the new terms and conditions and distinct payment mechanics.

Spotify says:

“You can purchase individual tracks and albums and keep them as MP3s. This comes in handy if you use an older iPod or MP3 player and want music on the go. If you like to ‘try before you buy’ you can do it all with Spotify.”

There’s a walkthrough in this video:

Is this a signal that Spotify Pro is not generating enough revenue for the company? It seems that way. Daniel Ek’s recent letter to the music industry suggests that the firm needs more time, but remains bullish about prospects to ‘save’ the music industry.

I’m sure the firm will make some money from this, as some people still like to claim ownership over digital assets. For me, access beats ownership, and I for one will continue to pay the £10 a month it costs for full, unadulterated access to a fantastic music service, with 3,000+ songs available for offline storage. Nonetheless, it's a smart move to offer non-paying users the ability to buy tunes on impulse, to generating additional revenue. 

Chris Lake

Published 15 October, 2009 by Chris Lake

Chris Lake is CEO at EmpiricalProof, and former Director of Content at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter, Google+ or connect via Linkedin.

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Comments (5)



Hmmmm, I use Spotify premium and have offline playlists on both my computer and my android powered phone - is there any reason to buy the tracks from Spotify? Since I can obviously play them from my offline playlist for free at any time I choose.

Good luck to them though, great service but the new iphone/android stuff must be killing them without the p2p style downloading.

almost 9 years ago


mike goforth

I think it is a pretty good idea from a consumer perspective as it allows the user to download a track without commiting to a subscription model... a try before you buy?

I think spotify premium is really useful for iphone/android users but not really that great a deal for those who have standard mp3 players. The paid downloads thing might be the missing link. Incorporate spotify premium into a cheap mp3 player and the subscription model might work for them.

almost 9 years ago



Hmm, so £10 a month gets unlimited offline storage of unlimited albums, or £7.99 gets you a single album? Seems out of whack to me.

almost 9 years ago



Offline storage doesn't let you listen to the music outside the Spotify program. Buying the album gives you the actual MP3s (saved in your "My Music" folder under "Spotify") so you can put it onto your MP3 player.

almost 9 years ago



i am having trouble putting any spotify music on my eclipse mp3 player. cant afford an ipod. so does that ten bucks a month cover gettin songs off the starred section of spotify to my mp3 player?

over 6 years ago

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