Music streaming company Spotify makes services free on tablets and mobile

The world's largest music streaming company, Spotify, has made its services free on mobiles and tablets, the company said on Thursday.

Previously, Spotify services on mobile and tablet were only available to customers who subscribed to premium accounts at S$9.90 per month. The desktop version was and is still free.

"We want to move to mobile and tablets because there's where the market is heading," said Mr Jim Butcher, Head of Communications for Spotify. "Twenty per cent of our users who used Spotify free on desktops converted to paid services on premium accounts."

Spotify Premium is still available at S$9.90 per month. The free version is supported by advertising revenue while premium services do not include advertisements. Spotify free requires an Internet connection to stream music while the premium service allows users to download tracks and listen to them offline. Spotify free also offers music streaming at a lower quality than its premium service.

The company signs deals with record labels to get music onto its platform. For every dollar Spotify makes from a song, 70 cents goes to the record label, it keeps the rest.

Spotify has about 20 million tracks in its library including Mando pop and K-pop songs. New offerings include Led Zeppelin albums which are exclusive to Spotify among music streaming companies. The service has 24 million users, 6 million of which are paid subscribers. It is available in 55 markets including Hong Kong, the United States and Australia and several newly-launched markets in South America and Eastern Europe.