This blog has been keeping a close eye on Spotify’s attempts to go mobile, but the desktop client is also progressing with news that Spotify have signed a deal with 7Digital to sell MP3 downloads.
The Spotify service is already monetised through advertising, a premium ad-free service for £9.99 a month and limited affiliate deals with Amazon and iTunes on a small portion of the catalogue. More integrated downloads are a natural next step and while the initial user journey involves checking out at 7Digital’s store, they hope to enable transactions within the Spotify client itself.
This will launch initially in the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain with plans to roll out to Norway, Sweden and Finland.
The question is will the Spotify userbase embrace downloads, with suggestions that take-up for the ad-free service has been limited?
It certainly makes sense to cover their bases in terms of revenue models and in the absense of the mobile service, this will provide a way for users to take their new favourite tracks and soon albums and playlists with them on their portable media players, particularly if the 7Digital pricing stays competitive with the dominant player iTunes.
Indeed if and when the mobile service is launched, how might this affect the amount of potential downloads, where many may prefer ads on streamed tracks to paid downloads? However, there are significant technical barriers to overcome on any streamed service in terms of bandwidth and of course, for those commuters among us, underground travel.
This story has a way to run yet.