Spotify teams up with 3 UK

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We’re happy to announce that we’ve struck a deal with 3 UK to bring Spotify Mobile to its customers from November. 3 is a great partner for us as it has a long history of bringing popular internet services, such as Skype and Facebook, to its mobile customers.

Spotify Mobile will initially be available on the HTC Hero which will be the first Android handset to launch on 3. If you’re interested in getting more news, head over to the 3’s official site and sign up your email.

Spotify Premium Sweden, Happyland

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Swedish singer Amada Jenssen is set to release her new album later this month, check out the first single, Happyland.

Next Tuesday, October 20th at 21.00, she’ll be performing a mini-gig in a secret location in Stockholm and we have 20 pairs of tickets to give away to Spotify Premium subscribers in Sweden.

If you want to go leave a comment on the blog and let us know why you want to go. The winners will be notified on Tuesday and will get an email with directions to the secret location.

Purchasing music just got easier

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A few months back we introduced the ability to purchase high quality MP3 tracks directly through Spotify. You may not have known that you could purchase tracks, admittedly the feature was a bit hard to use and required you to right click on tracks/albums that you wanted to buy.

All that changes today as we release our improved ‘Purchases‘ features which allows you to buy your favorite tracks or albums directly in Spotify with only a few clicks.

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Purchases will be downloaded onto your computer, placed into your default music folder and can be easily accessed via Spotify or any other program. All the MP3s you purchase are yours to own and can be transferred to any MP3 device of your choosing or burnt to a CD. Have a look at the short demo we put together for more details.

So, if you love to ‘try before you buy’ then hopefully this feature will make your life just a little easier.

Love Spotify? Come work with us

Serving up all this great music can be a lot of hard work so we’re always looking for a few good people to join our team. We have a number of open positions listed in our jobs section that we’d like to fill and who better to ask then our avid blog readers. Most of the open positions are for developer roles based in Sweden.

We like to think of Spotify as a fun, exciting and challenging place to work. If you think you’d be a good fit for our team (or know someone who might be) then brush off that CV and head on over to our jobs section for more details.

Win tickets to the Pink Ribbon Gala 2009!

We always like to support good causes when we can and today we have four pairs of tickets to this year’s Pink Ribbon Gala in Sweden to hand out. This year’s television gala will take place on Thursday 29 October and broadcast live on TV3.

The event takes place at Malmö Arena with gala hosts Renée Nyberg and Hasse Aro leading an evening filled with exciting artists, mixed with editorial features and contests. British sensation Leona Lewis, Måns Zelmerlöw and Sarah Dawn Finer are some of the artists performing in the gala.

If you want to win 2 tickets – tell us why you should win!

Music catalogue updated with 92,811 tracks

Another big update to our music catalogue. We added 7,094 albums and singles to the catalogue today, in total 92,811 new tracks are now available.

A few highlights includes:

Have a look at the Google doc for the full listing of all the releases. As with every update not all albums listed may be available in your country and some tracks previously available may no longer be playable due to regional restrictions.

Let us know what gems you find in this update.

Spotify Premium Sweden, Prince of Peking

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A few days back we had Markus Krunegård first album of the week, Lev som en gris dö som en hund available for Spotify Premium subscribers in Sweden. Starting today they can also listen to his second new album Prinsen av Peking.

We’re sorry that the release was a little delayed, to make up for it we have some additional tickets to the CD release party courtesy of Universal Music. For a chance to win tickets to this exclusive event head over to the event page and register now!

Overnight success takes a long time…

A few thoughts on the past year by Daniel Ek.

I’ve spent some time thinking about the last twelve months and I wanted to mark the one year anniversary of Spotify with a few thoughts about where we have got to as a business. I’ve set those out below. I want to start off by saying a very big thank you for the support we have had from all the record companies, large and small, music publishers, collecting societies, managers and artists who have supported us, been progressive and helped us grow this business to where we are now.

Spotify has a long way to go but this continued support from the music industry in the face of a recession and rampant piracy has made the difference and I feel that we are set up to succeed with this kind of willingness to innovate and try new things from the music industry…together we can do even better things.

So, here is my view on Spotify and where we have reached after a year in business…

It’s been an interesting year within the music industry, with many insiders questioning whether Spotify’s model is a sustainable one. Meanwhile, it’s been amazing to see just how our users have taken Spotify to their hearts.

I first considered writing about the state of ad-supported music, and given that I care more than most about figuring out a revenue model that doesn’t devalue music, it probably wouldn’t praise wholeheartedly (as some may have expected it to do) the ad-supported space. Especially since Spotify’s business model is, and has been since launch, more about the mix of subscription and ad supported. The truth, however, is that I feel there’s a bigger point worth making.

The notion of overnight success is very misleading and actually rather harmful to any hope for long term and sustainable growth in this industry. Yet this is unfortunately something the music industry as a whole is particularly good at, expecting business models to be proven within months of inception.

The truth is that even the most successful digital business to date, iTunes, missed its revenue targets in its first year by 30%, and label executives were far from convinced that this was the future. And we of course know how that story turned out with iTunes and the hardware being the defacto digital music business of today.

It would obviously be wrong for me to compare Apple’s success with iTunes to Spotify. We are two very different companies in two different phases of a company’s cycle. I’m also very aware (and we are regularly reminded) of the digital music graveyard where many start-ups are to be found dead and buried. Yet whatever the business, big success takes years to build and there are very few counter examples.

So to make it very clear – we are in this for the long haul. We are committed to building a music service that works across different devices, enables you to share music socially and that gives you the ability to choose how you want to access music. We aren’t interested in just trying to hype the company and then “flipping it”. The media coverage that Spotify has received so far is because of the product. The product has been our core and our main marketing message, and perhaps now is the time to modify that message.

Someone asked me a while back, during a fireside chat, what was the biggest mistake I’ve made so far with Spotify? I can’t recall my answer, but I’ve since thought more about the question. I would say that the biggest mistake that I’ve made is that Spotify, unlike any of the other businesses I’ve been a part of, depends on our partners (artists, composers, labels etc.) and I haven’t always acted with this fact at the forefront of my mind.

If we’re asking the industry to change, we need to be transparent and honest about the end goal – especially since we’re asking everyone to make a huge leap of faith to an unknown place where you could potentially argue that the industry risks its most profitable customers. We haven’t been as open as we could have been up until now, and that’s been an oversight on my behalf.

So I thought during our one-year anniversary as a service that I would at least partly correct that by sharing our view on the future for Spotify and the music industry.

Starting with the product, I must admit that I’m (almost) always encouraged when I hear people complain about the service, because it means that people care. It is clear to me that our product is far from perfect and needs to evolve significantly, but the fact that people are giving it so much thought tells me that we are at least roughly headed in the right direction. Spotify shows a lot of promise, but it’s still a work in progress.

There are a couple of focus areas for us now in terms of developing the product. Besides better monetisation, those areas include better library handling, making Spotify socially capable as well as significantly improving our portability.

In terms of monetisation, we’ve admittedly not made it easy for our users to buy music. That’s an area we need to improve, but at the same time I want to come back to the point I made earlier that the notion of overnight success is misleading, we’re only at the beginning of our journey and I’m dedicated to moving even faster than we have already. We are far from satisfied with where we are now, but at the same time it is important to realise that even though we are only a year-old service we have already passed some milestones that separate us from most digital music services.

We are probably Europe’s biggest paid subscription service with hundreds of thousands of paying users; we are one of the biggest affiliates to music downloads (despite 80% of our users unaware that they can actually buy music); plus our advertising revenues have now passed the millions of Euros per month mark.

However, none of this matters unless we can continue to enjoy the support of our users and partners. So we ask you all to have patience because we know we’ve yet to figure out the differentiation between free and paid, and we know we need to make it easier for our users to pay for the music that they love and so dearly want to enjoy. We are working tirelessly, though, to improve Spotify and to make it the platform we know the music industry needs.

Because the music industry that I envisage is a business that has the potential of becoming a $40-50 billion industry and growing stronger than it ever has, I think that by increasing the streams to the trillions on a monthly basis that we can take big chunks of people and move them from illegal file-sharing services to legal services.

However, for that to happen, the industry needs to think outside of the box and realise that the new business model in music is a mix between ad-supported music, downloads, subscriptions, merchandising and ticketing where the user comes first and where the key to monetisation comes from portability and packaging access rights.

I believe this is something that most people in the industry can agree to, but it can’t happen if the industry continues to enforce the per-play fees it has tried so hard to hold on to. The new model is about figuring out how to increase the revenue per user (RPU) between the different models – not squeeze as much as possible out of every single transaction. And that is how we can grow the overall business and work to protect a business that is in decline.

Overnight success takes a long time. To quote Daft Punk – work it harder, make it better, do it faster, makes us stronger, more than ever, hour after hour, our work is never over.

Spotify ❤s Telia

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Earlier today we announced a deal with Telia in Sweden to bring Spotify to a new and wider audience.

Telia will start selling Spotify Premium service to their mobile and broadband customers and we hope to work with them on some amazing new initiatives in the near future. Telia is Sweden’s largest ISP and mobile carrier and great match for us, this is a big step towards being able to offer Swedish homes the very best in digital entertainment services.