Spotify is shifting its model to allow free, ad-supported streaming worldwide on mobile devices, after previously charging a premium for access on smartphones and tablets.
"We wanted to make something really great, something that fits into (users') lives," Spotify CEO and founder Daniel Elk said at a press conference in New York announcing the news.
Elk, who noted that Spotify has returned $1 billion to the music industry, also announced an exclusive deal to add Led Zeppelin's Swan Song/Atlantic catalog to the service. In addition, he said Spotify is launching in 20 new markets today -- including Chile, Colombia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Peru, Slovakia and Uruguay -- for a total of 55 markets worldwide.
Stockholm, Sweden-based Spotify has more than 24 million users worldwide, with about 6 million paying subscribers. The company is facing a growing set of competitors including Apple -- which recently launched iTunes Radio -- as well as Google, Rdio and Pandora.
Spotify Unveils Free Music Streaming to Mobile Devices, Adds Led Zeppelin to Catalog
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