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7Digital and Spotify announce partnership

By | Published on Monday 30 March 2009

You know that phrase ‘iPod killer’ used every time someone launches a new digital music device or download service? Well, it’s normally applied to devices/services/partnerships that have no hope of really providing any serious competition to the Apple-owned digital music player and download store, but this one, well, who knows? It won’t damage iPod sales, because it’s an iPod-compatible service, but it could steal some traffic away from market-leading download store iTunes.

7Digital have announced a deal with Spotify which will allow users of the insanely popular streaming music service in the UK, France, Spain and Germany to opt to buy 320kps MP3 versions of their favourite tracks via the London-based download store at the click of a button. As 7Digital sell MP3s from all majors and most indies, that will mean most tracks on Spotify will be available via the sell-through function, and the plan is to offer some in the super high quality FLAC format too.

It’s not clear just how the integration of 7Digital into Spotify will work, but the process will reportedly start with a simple right lick on tracks users want to buy. Some sort of ‘buy-a-playlist’ function will also be added in due course.

The tie up is good for 7Digital because it enables them to offer a much more engaging preview-then-buy service that iTunes offers with its 30 second clips. The service will presumably be used by those who want to play tracks offline, or on the move, or those who have the sneaky feeling Spotify – like many other streaming services – will eventually bite the dust once venture capital is spent and the labels/publishers push for bigger royalty fees, so it’s still wise to keep a back up of your favourite tunes actually on your PC.

Spotify has previously said it will announce three retail partnerships in the coming weeks – it’s not clear if the other partnerships are with 7Digital’s rivals, or with ticket and/or merchandise sellers.

Confirming the deal, Spotify boss Daniel Ek said this: “Spotify is a great way to listen to and discover music and, through integration with, our users can now take their digital music with them wherever they go. We’re committed to developing the world’s largest streaming music catalogue and’s huge catalogue of high quality MP3 downloads makes them an ideal partner for us”.

7Digital top man Ben Drury added: “The collaboration with Spotify is exactly what we were aiming to achieve when we opened our API to outside developers. This is the first stage of a partnership that will create a more integrated download experience for 7digital and Spotify customers. We’re already looking to build on the existing integration and, ultimately, allow users to listen and buy MP3s securely with one or two clicks”.