Swedish firm Spotify has announced that it is launching a free mobile music-streaming service to complement its existing free desktop version. This will make its vast music catalogue, including many current and archive classical recordings, free for users on mobile phones and tablets. Many of the greatest classical recordings, such as Jacqueline Du Pré’s Elgar Cello Concerto (1965, pictured right) can be found in the Spotify listings.
Until now Spotify has only offered free, advert-supported use on desktop and laptop computers but mobile use has been limited to Spotify Premium subscribers, at £9.99 a month. The new free mobile service will play adverts ‘every couple of songs’.
Founder Daniel Ek, has indicated that the decision to bring a free service to Android and iOS mobile operating systems will tempt more smartphone users to eventually switch to Spotify’s Premium subscription service.
‘Today we’re giving people the best free music experience in the history of the smartphone and the tablet,’ says Ek. ‘Our very clear mission is getting more people to access and discover more great music. Along with more free users there will be more subscribers, and that means more revenue back to the industry.’
Spotify has announced that it is expanding its total gobal reach, from 20 to 55 countries. This move will raise the stakes in the company’s competition with other music-streaming providers such as Google, YouTube, and (in the US) Apple’s iTunes Radio.
The firm is also lifting the 10-hours-a-month cap that it previously placed on long-term users of its free music-streaming service.
For more information see the Spotify website.