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Comes With Spotify? Music Startup Bundled With Mobile Tarrif

Monday, October 19, 2009

Mobile operator 3 in the UK has announced it’s launching a tariff with an inclusive Spotify premium subscription which will be bundled with their first Android handset, the HTC Hero. Hutchison Whampoa, which owns 3, is an investor in Spotify. There were rumors of the move but this is now official confirmation.

The offer will come in at £35 ($57) a month over 24 months plus £99 ($161) for the Hero handset. That tariff includes unlimited use of Spotify Premium on both the handset and the owner’s PC for 2 years. That is a pretty good deal. The announcement hints at Spotify appearing on other handsets and, I daresay, other networks at some point – though the service has yet to launch at all in the US.

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This is a great first step in the way telecoms will provide more than just a connection for their customers. Many carriers worldwide have expressed frustration is the amount of data being shared/sent by their customers, causing the broadband pipes to become sluggish for others. Rather than throttling connection speeds, integrate a comparable service that customers can utilize instead of their current habits.

The amount of multimedia and data being transmitted and received by users worldwide is obvious increasing rapidly...some say more rapidly than the speed in which telecoms can expand their network infrastructure. 4-generation networks such as WiMax and LTE will relieve some of this stress, but it is unclear how long it will take to provide an affordable solution for customers in all regions. By providing a carrier-approved method of multimedia consumption such as Spotify's streaming music service, both the customer and the telecom's needs can be satisfied.

A similar solution could be provided for video consumption. What immediately comes to mind is to include a premium Hulu subscription for television and an subsidized Netflix subscription for movies.

While such services are not as ideal as the current model of free and infinite consumption of multimedia, it is better than insisting users pay-per-byte on a monthly basis. Yuck.

Posted by Carlos Olin Montalvo at 7:17 AM  

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