Mobile Phone operator 3 has announced that it will partner with Spotify over a music subscription service that will be available as an option on its mobile phone contracts.
As reported before, the discussions have been taking place since early August and the fact that Li Ka-Shing, the owner of INQ and 3 Networks, has purchased a stake in Spotify for $50 million later that month made the deal a certainty. In addition, INQ CEO, Frank Meehan, has also joined the board of Spotify to further cement the relationship between the two companies.
The HTC Hero is set to be the first phone which will come with a pre-installed Spotify App and will be launched before Christmas. Incidentally, it will also be the first Android phone to land at 3 Networks as well.
The second phone to come with Spotify as standard will be a dedicated Spotify phone (on which we have fantasised quite a lot).
Spotify will compete with the likes of Nokia's unlimited downloadable Comes With Music service and will come with a distinctive advantage.
You should be able to use it on other mobile phones as well although it will still be DRM protected and you won't be able to transfer any files you download to other PCs if you give up your premium account.
It is also understood that the premium version of Spotify will be offered at less than the suggested retail price of £9.99 per month and will be added to the monthly phone billing. The premium version will allow users to download content and will offer an offline mode as well.