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Dec 7: Spotify has added a new "Follow" function that lets you track the music choices of high profile users, from US President Barack Obama to NZ celebrityette Kimberley Crossman.
Users can also follow the music recommendations of media like NME, and record labels including New Zealand's Flyiing Nun.
Spotify lets subscribers listen to an unlimited number of songs per month.
If you're willing to listen to ads, and have your song choices splashed to your Facebook followers (by way of marketing the service), you can access Spotify for free.
An ad-free version of the service costs $7.99/month; a premium version that adds the ability to copy songs to any device costs $12.99/month.
Below: Spotify CEO and founder Daniel Ek explain thier service's latest upgrade at a New York launch 6am this morning NZ time:
Spotify all-you-can-eat music service launches in NZ
May 23: All-you-can eat music streaming service Spotify became available in New Zealand yesterday.
Whereas Apple's iTunes sells songs by the track, or album, Spotify lets you listen to an unlimited amount of music - free if you're willing to put up with ads, or for a fixed monthly fee.
Paying gives you better audio quality, and more options, including the ability to store songs to listen to offline on your PC or phone.
In mobile, Spotify supports multiple platforms including iOS (iPhone and iPad), Android and Windows Phone.
For New Zealand, the company is offering:
Spotify Free: – the unsurpassed, totally free music service. Enjoy free, on-demand, buffer-free access to more than 16 million songs on your computer. No gimmicks. Just listen and love it, month after month after month. Manage your own music files through Spotify, and sync them with your mobile or iPod. With occasional advertising. All Spotify users enjoy unlimited free, ad-supported music [and the dubious privilege of having song choices splashed to their Facebook followers].
Spotify Unlimited $7.49/month: – All of the above but with uninterrupted, ad-free access to Spotify on your computer. All for only $7.49 a month.
Spotify Premium: $12.99/month – Listen online or offline, on your computer, your mobile phone, tablet and a whole heap of other devices. Enjoy enhanced sound quality and access to exclusive content, competitions and special offers. Premium costs just $12.99 a month.
Spotify claims 10 million users worldwide, and pundits say it is growing fast.
The company has also launched a Spotify NZ Top 40 app, backed by RIANZ (the Recording Industry Association of NZ), which will showcase the weekly Official New Zealand music charts and keep users up to date with the latest music The app will let subscribers listen to full chart songs and albums and receive the chart automatically each week as a Spotify playlist.
Spotify says it has generated more than $US150 million in digital revenue for rights holders in the three years since its launch.
Whereas video streaming site Quickflix launched locally with a thin selection of content, Spotify features content from all the big multinational record labels, plus many independents.
RIANZ chart manager Phil Matcham says the introduction of services such as Spotify in New Zealand provide greater choice in online purchasing options.
“These services help the industry grow and the difference between accessing music through sites such as Spotify and illegal counterparts is that the band gets paid. Kiwis can now buy music online from five legal services and in a very cost-effective way with legal access to millions of tracks.
“Spotify began in Sweden and Sweden is a good example of a nation where the music industry had been decimated by unauthorised downloading. But Spotify is booming there – and in 14 other countries – and it has helped the music industry in Sweden to start growing again.
“Spotify makes it easy for Kiwis to listen to their favourite song and artists – while still respecting the artists’ rights. It’s a hugely popular service overseas and we expect New Zealanders to see it as a great way to enjoy, share and discover new music.
“Partnering with Spotify also means we’re helping to add local content to the service by highlighting the local and international artists Kiwis are ranking the most popular,” he says.