It’s now a race.
Beats nabbed AT&T and now Spotify got Sprint. They’re both clamoring at the doors of Verizon. Who will get there first?
Don’t be surprised if Apple has already locked something up with Verizon. They may announce the deal when they announce their iTunes streaming service, but no one really knows when that will be. But it’s coming. There’s no denying that now.
Amazon is looking to get into the game as well, but, as reported last week, they are trying to strong-arm their way in. Have they learned nothing from Spotify’s mistakes? If you strike favorable deals with the majors and leave the scraps for the indies, you will lose public opinion. And with so much competition in the streaming sphere, you need whatever edge you can get.
Spotify is still licking its wounds from the artist backlash. Waiting 2 years after the US launch (and a full 5 years after their initial launch) to reveal independent streaming royalty rates (or show much of any transparency to independent artists) was a big mistake. Since releasing Spotifyartists.com back in December, though, public opinion has shifted to Spotify’s favor. It’s not cool to hate it anymore. Labels (and artists alike) are realizing that streaming is the future and, if played right, can be a profitable one.
So Beats came out swinging, teaming up with the 2nd largest mobile service provider, and now Spotify has the 3rd.
But, Sprint landed at the bottom of Consumer Reports’ annual ranking for 2013, receiving “dismal marks” for value, voice, text and 4G reliability.
And data (un)reliability is the main reason paid streaming services haven’t caught on with the mainstream.
But with Sprint’s 54 million subscribers, this is definitely a positive move for Spotify in the race for mainstream accessibility. Expect to see a similar Beats/AT&T $15 a month family plan offering with the Spotify/Sprint announcement.
Spotify’s last official subscription announcement was March 2013 where they boasted 6 million paid subscribers – but insiders have been hinting that number is closer to 9 million by now.
Spotify and Sprint are planning to announce the details of their partnership on April 29th at a New York Event.
Ari Herstand is a Los Angeles based singer/songwriter and the creator of Ari’s Take. Listen to his new album, Brave Enough, on Spotify or download it from BandCamp. Follow him on Twitter: @aristake