Page last updated at 10:40 GMT, Monday, 30 March 2009 11:40 UK

Deal done for Spotify downloads

Earplugs on CD, BBC
Streaming music is taking the place of commercial radio, say analysts

Music streaming service Spotify has signed a deal to sell downloads via online music store 7digital.

It will put a link that leads to downloadable MP3 copies of the particular song Europeans are listening to in the Spotify software.

Clicking on the link takes Spotify users to the 7digital store so they can buy the track they are interested in.

Spotify said it was working on a way for users to buy while still in the music service's application.

Good fit

Initially only single songs and albums will be available to purchase but eventually users will be able to buy entire playlists from the store.

The buying option will go live first in the UK and Germany, France, Italy and Spain. Sweden, Norway and Finland will follow in a few weeks time.

No prices have been given for the price of each 320kbps MP3.

Spotify, like Last FM and Imeem, lets its members build and listen to their own library of songs that are streamed to them via the web.

The service can be listened to free if people are willing to listen to adverts interlaced with their stream of songs.

By paying a subscription, £9.99 a month in the UK, Spotify users can listen to tracks that are ad-free.

However, said Mark Mulligan, analyst at Forrester Research, Spotify has found that far fewer users then expected are handing over the cash for a monthly subscription.

"The deal is happening now rather than at launch because Spotify is going through the process of re-learning its business," he said.

"It went into this thinking it was going to be a premium subscription business," he said. "The problem is what's proven to be the successful part is the free bit."

Mr Mulligan described the link between Spotify and 7digital as a "natural fit" and very similar to the affiliate deals done by rivals such as LastFM and Imeem.

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