Internet music service Spotify is reportedly set to roll out free music streaming for mobile devices, expanding on its existing free Internet radio features. A report
in The Washington Post
claims that the Sweden-based music company has reached licensing deals with the major global music companies to roll out free streaming to mobile devices, allowing mobile users to enjoy a Spotify that only subscribers and desktop users had access to beforehand. The catch: the new streaming feature will be supported by ads.
Non-subscribers will soon have access to a limited selection of songs on-demand, and the rest of the music content will be served up based on the user's listening habits, much like Pandora. Sources close to Pandora's operations say that the move is aimed at increasing the rate of subscription among Spotify's free users. Currently, about 20 percent of Spotify users are subscribers, and the company hopes that having access to tunes on the go will increase that percentage.
Spotify recently raised $250 million
in funding, giving the service a valuation of roughly $4 billion. The company does not reveal its financial data, but it is believed that Spotify is either barely breaking even or losing money. The company recently opened up
regarding its business model, showing that it had paid out more than $1 billion in royalties, $500 million of that coming in the last year.