Spotify is on a warpath, but Swedish Devolver seeks to grease the wheels for entrepreneurs that want to create their own take on a music streaming service. Devolver's On Air platform allows entrepreneurs to use the company's technical platform and relationships with content providers -- two major barriers to entry to creating your own music streaming services.
Devolver itself was formed in the summer of 2010 with the goal of providing solutions for the content industry. The company's content partner is the Swedish InProdicon Digital Media, who has relationships with both the major and independent labels. Through them, Devolver is able to to provide music downloading, rental, and streaming services.
A market survey conducted by Norstat for the WiMP music streaming service shows that roughly 3 out of 10 Norwegians and Swedes have listened to music by streaming in the week before the questioning took place. The survey was collected in January of 2012. In Norway, this proportion increased 20 to 29 percent from June of the past year, while Sweden saw a jump of 27 to 29 percent, showing the early saturation of the market. Danish users are behind the times, with a jump from 14 to a current 20%. This low penetration can likely be explained by Spotify only launching in Denmark in October.
The Scandinavian news publisher Schibsted is set to buy a Norwegian company, Aspiro, for 340 million Swedish krona (€38m). Aspiro provides whitelabel TV and music streaming services, and also provides the music streaming service WiMP, which competes with Spotify. Aspiro is traded on the Nasdaq OMX Nordic Exchange in Stockholm, and Schibsted Media Group offers to the shareholders in Aspiro AB to acquire all the shares in Aspiro for SEK 1.65 in cash per share.
Sony Entertainment Network today announced that it is expanding its Music Unlimited cloud-based digital music subscription service to countries including Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden. Music Unlimited features a catalogue of over 12 million songs including "all major U.S. labels, leading independent labels, and major publishers worldwide." The service is designed to work on Bravia TV's, PS3s, PSPs, some Sony Walkmen, and as a desktop service. The basic subscription starts off at €4 and premium runs at €10 per month.
It appears to be a Spotify fest lately ever since the music streaming service announced their partnership with Facebook, bringing the service almost instantly to millions of Facebook users. Due to their reach in more countries, Spotify now announced they reached 2.5 million paying subscribers of the service.
While it would have been great if Spotify shared details on their user demographics, Spotify has kept this information in the shadows. What is more important here is that Spotify has managed to achieve this feat at a time where many listeners have been getting music for free from pirating. To have paying subscribers means that your users love the service and that they don’t mind paying a fee to avail more features, rather a “better user experience”.
Guess it was the launch in the US that was holding back Spotify’s expansion in the rest of Europe. This is just a speculation but things have sped up recently, especially after the music streaming service shook hands with the world’s largest social network; Facebook. After launching in Austria today, as per the latest reports, Spotify is planning its launch in Belgium and Switzerland this week.
We haven’t had confirmed news regarding this expansion but things have been pretty favorable for us to believe it. There have been hints about the expansion of Spotify in other regions as well, which include; Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, Germany and New Zealand. We think this expansion is bound to happen and that Spotify will be available in many regions within and outside Europe in a few months time.
The second largest social network in Russia, Odnoklassniki, recently launched a music streaming service on their platform. That would make it the second Russian social network to have a streaming service. Vkontakte has had one for years. Today Vkontakte offers unlimited free music streaming and this month it even introduced a music recommendation feature. Yandex also has a free music streaming app that allows building various playlists (unlike Vkontakte, for instance), though it lacks social dimension and is only available in Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and Kazahstan due to copyrights.
This is definitely making things for Spotify as (unconfirmed) reports rolled out that Facebook will be launching a music streaming service. This is expected to be launched in the first week of June. The service is currently being tested and upon launch will have users of the social network seeing a Spotify icon just beneath the Photos and other links on the left hand side.
WiMP, Scandinavia's latest music streaming service will open itself to the Swedish users, beginning March 3rd. This would allow users to signup for the service for 30 days to listen to free music. The service will offer users a quick and easy way to access a countless songs in its archive and has been specifically customized to cater to the Swedish music lovers.
Europe’s most popular music streaming service, Spotify is finally edging closer to cross the ocean and land into the US market with rumors of it attempting to sign deals with major labels in the US market. Last week Peter Kafka hinted that it might have struck the cords with Sony US. This will be a distribution deal and wouldn’t necessarily steer clear Spotify to invade the US market.
It appears I have booked myself to news on Spotify. But let the truth be known that there is nothing of the sort and like any decent writer, I am just sharing what makes news. The latest from Spotify is its deal with Shazam.
Skype founders Janus Friis and Niklas Zennström recently created Rdio (pronounced ar-dee-oh) - an unlimited, on-demand social music service in US and Canada. The service is very similar to Spotify, though there is no way to use it for free (apart from a short trial period). Rdio offers a vast music library (> 7 million songs) from all major labels (EMI Music, Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group) as well as top indie labels and distributors. It's got social features akin to Twitter: users can see what is currently popular among other users and create and listen to collaborative playlists. The company promises to 'take the work out of deciding what to play next'. All that for $9.99 a month for unlimited web and mobile access (including the offline mode) and $4.99 a month for Web-only access. Rings a bell?