Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Spotify, Samsung in deal to stream music over TVs

Sven Grundberg/MarketWatch

South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co. Wednesday unveiled a deal with Anglo-Swedish music streaming service Spotify Ltd., that will allow direct streaming of music from Samsung television sets.

The consumer electronics giant said in a press release that Samsung E-series television sets will be equipped with a software application adapted for television screens that allows music streaming from Spotify.

The partnership comes as a number of technology firms strive to position themselves on the lucrative music streaming market, which is about to overtake physical sales of compact disks as the main source of revenue for music labels and publishers.

Spotify's rivals include U.S.-based streaming services such as Rhapsody, Rdio Inc. and Pandora Media Inc. (P), as well as France's Deezer and Norway's Wimp. Another key competitor is Apple Inc.'s (AAPL) iTunes, although it doesn't offer a streaming service.

The application will be launched "shortly" and will first be available to owners of Samsung televisions in a number of European countries, including the U.K., France, Germany and Scandinavia. Samsung said the service will expand to its Blu-ray players and home theater systems later this year.

The deal follows similar agreements Samsung has made with a number of technology firms including Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) IP-telephony service Skype, and is likely to expand the reach of Spotify's popular music-streaming service. It is in line with Spotify's ambition to provide its music-streaming service through as many platforms as possible.

However, the Samsung deal could lessen the appeal of exclusive agreements that Spotify has signed with cable television and Internet providers, such as U.K.'s Virgin Media Inc VMED -0.37% and Sweden's TeliaSonera AB , that have been offering its subscribers access to the music service through their televisions.

Spotify, which has a free-of-charge, advertising-backed service in addition to paid-for subscription services without adverts, is mainly used as a computer desktop application. The streaming service is also available to paying subscribers on various platforms, such as devices running Google Inc.'s GOOG -0.22% Android operating system and Apple's iPhones and iPads.

Users will need a paid premium subscription membership to access Spotify through Samsung televisions, Spotify said.

Spotify, which has paid about EUR200 million to labels and publishers since launching in 2008, was founded in Sweden by Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon. It has its headquarters in the U.K. and has research and development facilities in Stockholm.

No comments:

Post a Comment