Spotify close to offering free mobile service outside the US


London-based Spotify, getting a jump on Pandora Media, is close to agreements with labels to offer free mobile radio outside the U.S., said a Bloomberg story. Spotify seeks to offer ad-supported mobile radio everywhere it operates starting in April. They now offer a web radio product to mobile users in the U.S. and desktop users in 20 countries.

The company is using free mobile radio to attract customers who may convert to its subscription music service, the world’s biggest.

Spotify’s markets include the U.S., U.K., Sweden, Germany, France and Australia, according to the company’s website. The service has 20 million free users and about 5 million who pay $10 a month to access unlimited, commercial-free music on computers and mobile devices.

The company is also seeking to add new territories in its talks with music publishers and record companies including Vivendi SA’s Universal Music and EMI Group, as well as Sony Corp.’s music business and Warner Music Group.

Graham James, a spokesman for Spotify, declined to comment.

See the Bloomberg story here