Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Spotify Promises a TV Service (in Sweden, of Course)

spotify-logoSpotify, the streaming music service Americans love talking about but can’t actually use, has given us even more to chat about: The company now promises to roll out some sort of TV service…some day.

Where? In Sweden, of course, which is where Spotify started, and which acts as a sort of test lab/best-case-scenario provider for the service.

The company has announced a two-year deal with Telia, a European telco/Internet service provider, “to work together developing Spotify’s music service for computers, mobile phones and eventually TV as well.” No details about what that TV service might be, but the companies say a mobile offering will be available for Swedes within a “few months.”

That’s interesting, since Spotify already has a mobile offering: Subscribers to its premium service can use the company’s iPhone app, which Apple (AAPL) approved last month. No description of how the new service will differ.

It’s also worth noting that this is Spotify’s second deal with a Swedish ISP. It already has a linkup with Bredbandsbolaget, owned by Telenor, a Scandinavian telco, which allows users to bundle their subscription fees with their Internet bills.

It’s also the only territory where the service has a bundling deal, and industry observers think that tie-up has a great deal to do with the company’s much talked about success there.

Everywhere else, though, Spotify remains a work in progress. It claims 5.5 million users, but as of last month only about 100,000 of them were paying the company a monthly fee, according to people familiar with the service. It is currently trying to break into the U.S. market, but has been mired in discussions with the big music labels–the same ones that have licensed the company in Europe–for months.

For more on the company’s plans, see this interview Kara Swisher conducted with co-founder Daniel Ek last month:

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus