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Vodafone Australia pairs up with Spotify

Australian telco Vodafone has paired up with the music-streaming giant to offer 'greater access' to the Spotify Premium service.
Written by Corinne Reichert, Contributor

Vodafone Australia has partnered with music-streaming company Spotify to offer Vodafone customers access to Spotify Premium for an as-yet undisclosed cost.

The partnership, announced on Tuesday, will see Vodafone allow its customers to use their data allowance to stream music ad-free from Spotify's catalogue, presumably at a discounted or unmetered rate.

"Vodafone's 4G network is set to reach 95 percent of Australia's metropolitan population by the end of the year, and we want to give our customers the best possible 4G experience," Stephen Smyth, Vodafone's general manager of postpaid, said when announcing the service.

Last week, Vodafone switched on its 850MHz long-term evolution (LTE) 4G mobile network in Adelaide's CBD and suburbs in an effort to improve coverage in the city.

This augments the 4G coverage already provided through Vodafone's 1800MHz spectrum, which the company turned on in areas of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Newcastle, and Wollongong in June last year.

"Our partnership with Spotify really brings our 4G network to life," Smyth said. "Our customers will be able to make the most of Spotify Premium, which offers the ability to stream, find, and share music, on demand, on any device, completely ad free."

No pricing has yet been released, with Vodafone stating that more detail will be announced over the next few weeks. A stand-alone Spotify Premium account presently costs AU$11.99 per month; however, since August 2013, Vodafone UK has been offering Spotify Premium as part of its customers' regular monthly bill on its Red XL or XXL 4G plans for up to 12 months, with the offer expiring early next month.

Spotify also currently has a deal with T-Mobile in the US, where the telco's customers are permitted to use the streaming service without it counting towards their monthly plan. Telstra has had a similar deal in place with Beats-owned music-streaming company MOG since mid-2012.

Spotify released a study in September showing that music piracy is decreasing within Australia, and today stated that music streaming is simultaneously increasing in popularity, with over 1.5 million Australians streaming music over their smartphones. Around 30 licensed music-streaming services have launched in the country over the last few years.

"There is still a big problem with music piracy in Australia; what a lot of those surveys don't catch is a trend," said Spotify's director of economics in Australia, Will Page, last month.

"The problem persists, but is trending down."

The Vodafone-Spotify partnership deal comes just after news that Vodafone is planning to implement a system for tracking and retaining its customers' internet browsing history for up to 90 days, while the Australian government has been making moves to force telcos through legislation into holding metadata for up to two years — though the government has yet to come up with a satisfactory definition for what metadata actually consists of.

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