Spotify and Sprint announced that it had struck a deal in the hopes of cashing in on the popularity of music streaming services on mobile devices.
Sprint introduced Sprint Sound Session at a press event in New York on Tuesday, which includes access to Spotify's service with its friends and family -- or "framily" -- plan. Starting May 2, all customers on the Framily Plan will get a six-month trial of Spotify, and after the trial is over, they will get Spotify for a discounted price, CNET reports.
Competitor Beats Music, which launched in January, had a similar deal with AT&T that also includes free trial periods and discounted family plans.
Not only will this bundling plan be an added boost for the troubled cell phone provider, it could prove crucial for Spotify. The service, which launched in Sweden in 2008 and is now available in more than 50 countries, only has 24 million active users, including 6 million paying subscribers, according to reports in March 2013. The company has not revealed any other statistics since then.
"In the U.S., Spotify is really strong on the coasts, but we've got to hit mainstream America. With Sprint we feel we really have the opportunity to do that," Daniel Ek, Spotify's chief executive, told the New York Times in an interview.
The new partnership was announced along with the unveiling of HTC One M8 Harman Kardon edition, a smartphone designed solely for music. HTC says the new smartphone is designed to deliver clearer sound quality for compressed digital music through a feature called Clari-Fi. The technology, which is built into the phone, is said to have the ability to play HD audio that restores music fidelity that is lost during compression into digital files.
Although Internet radio services, such as Pandora and Apple's iTunes Radio, represent a different segment of the streaming music market -- Spotify is a "music on-demand" service -- there still may be competition for the streaming company. In March, CNET reported that Apple's music service had passed Spotify amongst U.S. users aged 12 and above. However, Pandora remains the dominant streaming service, having a 31 percent share based on a survey from Edison Research.
According to another recent report by Electronista, it predicted iTunes Radio will overtake iHeart -- the number two service -- before the end of the year.