| NEW YORK April 29
NEW YORK April 29 Spotify announced on Tuesday
its first partnership with a mobile carrier in an effort to
boost subscriptions and get more people to listen to its online
streaming music service.
The deal with Sprint means that starting on May 2,
Sprint's customers will receive a free trial of Spotify. Sprint
subscribers on its tiered "framily plan" will get discounts to
Spotify subscriptions once the trial period ends.
"This is this is the biggest deal we've ever made," said
Daniel Ek, chief executive of Spotify, referring to the number
of consumers the partnership will reach and the level of
marketing dollars put behind the partnership. He spoke at an
event in New York announcing the deal.
People can tune-in to Spotify for free but they have to
listen to ads. The company offers to listeners a premium
subscription service without ads for $9.99 per month.
Spotify is a popular music service but it has a way to go
to get more people to use it. It has amassed more than 24
million active users worldwide using very little marketing. Its
rival Pandora has more than 75 million active users across
The deal with Sprint may help Spotify - which normally
eschews advertising - spread the word about its service. Ek said
in an interview with Reuters that Sprint will handle the
marketing but he declined to offer more details.
Beats Music, another online streaming music service, struck
a similar agreement with AT&T.
"Mainstream America doesn't know what Spotify is," Ek told
Reuters who said he hopes Spotify can get to 100 million active
users worldwide by the end of this year.
"Given Sprint's national footprint, it will bring awareness
of Spotify especially in middle America to a new high."
A higher profile can't hurt Spotify especially given recent
speculation that the Swedish start up is preparing for an IPO.
Ek said he doesn't have plans for a public debut.
(Writing by Jennifer Saba in New York; Editing by Cynthia