Online music provider Spotify has struck a deal with MP3 downloading service 7Digital to sell tracks through Spotify's desktop client.
Users will be able to buy the tracks by right-clicking on streaming tracks and selecting the "buy from 7digital.com" option in the menu.
We tried on our Spotify client to buy tracks from Kings of Leon, Amy Winehouse and Estelle but the option in the drop down menu remained stubbornly greyed out. Spotify has also confirmed that users will be able to buy tracks from their playlists as an album.
The service will be available in the UK and Germany and will be extended in the next few months to France, Italy and Spain. There are no plans to roll out the service in other non European territories.
Spotify will also allow users to purchase their whole personal playlists using 7Digital at a reduced price. Whether this will help Spotify bring in more revenue remains to be seen.
The Spotify/7Digital partnership targets the hegemony of Apple's iTunes and 7Digital's catalogue of 6 million 320KBps sound tracks is likely to lure more than a few customers, especially if the price is attractive.
The company already has a "premium" subscription version that costs £9.99 per month and does not come with any ads but most of the traffic is likely to go to Spotify's free ad-supported service.
Obviously, expect a few rough times between the two if Spotify rolls out a mobile application in the short term which would make 7Digital more or less obsolete.
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Spotify is typical of the generation of Web 2.0 services that literally shot first and then ask questions. Like Twitter, Spotify aims at building a huge user base first before actually looking at revenue models. They have adopted a freemium model but the fact that they're actually partnering with 7Digital means that they might be finding it a bit more difficult to get the money rolling in.
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