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Telecom offers Spotify Premium free to some mobile customers

Telecom [NZX: TEL] is offering customers on higher end mobile plans free access to Spotify's Premium music streaming service from tomorrow. 

Spotify Premium usually costs $12.99, for which customers get better resolution audio, no ads, a desktop offline mode and the ability stream music to other devices via wi-fi.

Regular data charges will apply.

More than 20 million tracks are available on Spotify, which offers unlimited access.

Telecom says 5MB is the average data consumed when downloading or streaming a song

The plans eligible for the deal are $29 Ultra Prepay Mobile or a $59 Ultra Mobile Plan or higher.

There are no plans to extend the deal to Telecom landline broadband customers, though Mr Paris notes Spotify Premium supports streaming to other devices over wi-fi.

Telecom COO Jason Paris wouldn't comment on the spefic cost of the deal, but told NBR it is a "multi-million dollar partnership."

The company will be angling for several benefits.  

At its recent half-year result, CEO Simon Moutter said the telco (soon to be renamed Spark) was making progress in its goal of gaining youth market share, especially in Auckland. Today's deal looks aimed at that territory, as well as encouraging customers onto higher-yielding plans, and more data use.

The deal is also exclusive, which could help Telecom get a leg up over Vodafone and 2degrees among Spotify fans.

It should also help Spotify in the fight for local music stream service share. Arch rival Pandora now has three staff on the ground in NZ. And Apple's iTunes Radio - recently launched in Australia - is expected to be available locally in the near future.

Vodafone: we turned them down
Meanwhile, Vodafone says it had the chance to ally with the US-based Spotify, but gave it a miss.

"We were approached by Spotify some time ago – but turned down the opportunity in favour of creating our own bespoke music app – Vodafone Music," a spokeswoman told NBR.

"We’ll have more information in this space shortly."