Feeds

Spotify: iPhone sideloads for £120 a year, unlimited

Needs Jobs' blessing, though

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

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? ®

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Bring back error correction, say Danish 'net boffins
We don't need no steenkin' TCP/IP retransmission and the congestion it causes
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.