@MWC: Making music simple and profitable on mobile

**As published in RCR Wireless News** BARCELONA – “Any piece of content should be playable within five seconds.” That’s the goal Spotify is after with its hugely popular music service that barely anyone outside of Europe has ever heard of, CEO and Founder Daniel Ek said during a keynote. In his elevator pitch, Ek described Spotify as an iTunes-like experience that allows users to access all of the world’s music. The two-tiered platform is broken up into a free, ad-supported model and a premium model that allows users to access and cache their entire music library on their mobile device. Based on the latest exchange rates, the premium service costs $13.60 in Spain, France, Sweden, Norway and Finland; and $15.68 in the United Kingdom. For that price, users can download as many songs as they want every month.

“People often think about the Internet as something that’s linear,” Ek said, but Spotify has proven the value of speed, social outlets, sharing and discovery simply through its exponential growth. “The average Spotify user today has 15,000 tracks in their library,” he said. “We want to enable all of that content on a mobile device.” So far, the service has attracted 7 million users who have collectively created more than 100 million playlists already, he added. Moreover, Spotify is not driven by hits. “The people in Spotify are discovering the back catalog of the artist,” he said. “When we do a new release, the new release gets very popular for the first two days then people start digging into the back catalog.” As for upsell to the mobile community, Ek is convinced Spotify has the same appeal for a carrier as iTunes. “We’re taking what’s already there on the desktop and enabling it on the mobile phone,” he concluded. Carrier relationships are already in play, he said, and there’s a lot of discussion around bundling the service into data packages offered by carriers. If that comes to fruition, you can be sure Spotify will gain traction in more markets, and just maybe, land somewhere back across the pond.