Feeds

Spotify: iPhone sideloads for £120 a year, unlimited

Needs Jobs' blessing, though

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Streaming music sensation Spotify today announced a music download service for £120 a year. That's how much an annual subscription to Spotify Premium costs - and you'll need to be a Premium member to use its iPhone/iPod Touch native client.

For now, it's all rather moot - there's no guarantee that Apple will approve this powerful new rival to its iTunes media shoppe - particularly as Spotify has ambitions on serving up video, too, as we reported last month.

Spotify made the announcement on its blog this morning, but it could make no guarantee that the software will ever appear on Apple hardware. Apple's App Store is the only place to acquire iPhone/Touch software "officially" - otherwise you must jailbreak the device - and Apple manages the approval process jealously. It could easily put paid to Spotify's iPhone ambitions.

Spotify also has an Android client in the works, but it has yet to announce Windows, Java or Symbian plans.

As with the Android client, the native iPhone version of Spotify rejects streaming as the method of acquiring music, and it's really just another proprietary music download player, pulling songs you request out of the Spotify desktop client's encrypted cache, and syncing them to a mobile player. That's a DRM of sorts, because the music is trapped within a properietary, vertically integrated system. It isn't yet clear whether you'll extract an MP3, and sideload from Spotify Premium to another device.

So Spotify is immediately comparable with Virgin's upcoming ISP download service, MusicStation, Datz and Comes With Music. How does £120 compare price wise? Datz's Music Lounge is £99.99 a year for unlimited music - the DRM needs a dongle. Virgin hasn't disclosed prices for its forthcoming service, but the unlimited option will only be available at the top tier of a tiered service for "the price of a couple of albums a month". That suggests something in the £15 to £20 per month, or £180 to £240 per annum range.

Omnifone's MusicStation is sold through carriers who set their own pricing: Vodafone UK charges £1.95 a week (£101.40 pa) but that only gets you the mobile client, not the rich desktop version. That too has DRM. So pricing-wise, Spotify is much of a muchness, and there are cheaper annual music subs.

Spotify needs a viable revenue stream, and this may be its best hope.

As we exclusively revealed here at El Reg, Spotify had fewer than 17,000 paying Premium subscribers in May, despite rocketing to over 500,000 registered users from a standing start. Advertising income was only £82,000 in May, a long way short of covering the cost of the royalties it must pay.

So will you cough up £120 a year? And is no-strings-attached MP3 format a deal-breaker for you? ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Of COURSE Stephen Elop's to blame for Nokia woes, says author
'Google did have some unique propositions for Nokia'
FCC, Google cast eye over millimetre wireless
The smaller the wave, the bigger 5G's chances of success
It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE
By 'eck! Eccles cake production thrown into jeopardy
Mobile coverage on trains really is pants
You thought it was just *insert your provider here*, but now we have numbers
Don't mess with Texas ('cos it's getting Google Fiber and you're not)
A bit late, but company says 1Gbps Austin network almost ready to compete with AT&T
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.