Spotify Targets Apple with New Digital Music Store

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Spotify supports Apple’s iPod nano, Shuffle and Classic so that users can manage their music outside of iTunes. (Photo: Nagy Zoltán Csongor)
Spotify supports Apple’s iPod nano, Shuffle and Classic so that users can manage their music outside of iTunes. (Photo: Nagy Zoltán Csongor)

BUSINESS

  • Spotify launches its music download service, available on iPod, iPhone and Android smartphones
  • New Spotify app syncs wirelessly with iTunes
  • Spotify had 10 million users in March 2011

Spotify has taken aim at its biggest rival Apple with the launch of its music download service and new iPod syncing capabilities.

The digital music service will now allow users to organize their iPods and iPhones with Spotify’s desktop application. The iPod nano, Shuffle and Classic are also supported and users will for the first time be able to manage their music outside Apple’s iTunes.

With Android smartphone users also able to access the service, Spotify is taking a threatening step forward in its quest to become number one in the mobile music industry.

"Spotify really is the only music player you'll ever need," said Spotify CEO and founder Daniel Ek. "Our users don't want to have to switch between music players, but they do want to take their playlists with them wherever they go, on a wider range of devices, more simply and at a price they can afford. Now we've made that possible on one of the world's most popular consumer devices."

Purchase Process Simplified

Spotify’s music store spells the end of its partnership with 7digital, which previously handled all song purchases, and the new service simplifies the purchasing process.

The store will offer songs from as little as $0.80 when bought in bulk, with prices ranging from around $13 for a bundle of 10 titles to around $80 for 100.

Previously, only paid subscribers were able to use Spotify’s mobile music services, but now free users will also have full access. All iPhone and Android users can download the Spotify app and sync their mobile playlists with their desktops. They will also be able to do it wirelessly, a much-demanded service that Apple’s iTunes has yet to offer.

In the month of March 2011, Spotify had around 10 million users with 1 million of them paid-up members.

Key Statistics – Digital Music Market (source: IE Market Research Corp)

  • In North America, there are 105 million paid subscribers of digital music services, a figure which is expected to grow to over 227 million by 2014.
  • Digital music revenue in Western Europe will rise to nearly $5 billion by 2014, compared to $1.3 billion in 2009.
  • In the UK, 45% of people listen to music on their computers. (source: Key Note Publications).
  • By 2014, revenue from digital music sales in the UK should reach $1.44 billion. (source: Key Note Publications)

By James Mulholland for
James Mulholland is a Paris-based internet and broadcast journalist specializing in sports, current affairs and technology news, while also freelancing as a photographer.

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