Spotify partners with The Times (London)

times london logo 300wSubscribers to digital editions of The Times (London) newspaper now get a Spotify subscription at no extra charge. The music service’s subscription tier offers ad-free listening on all devices, enhanced access to music tracks, and downloading to mobile devices for offline listening. The Spotify plan normally costs U.K. users 120 British pounds per year. A digital subscription to The Times is priced at 312 British pounds per year.

The deal is a new example of music service bundling, which serves to expose streaming platforms to audiences already subscribed to another digital service. Telecom bundling is one powerful version of such packaging. In that scenario, the music service is exposed to large populations of users signed up for phone service plus additional digital perks. Both sides win. The music platform partners with a service provider that already owns billing relationships with customers. The telecom (or newspaper) suddenly “owns” a music service that can help retain subscribers. The end user wins, too, getting free or reduced-cost music.

Beats Music is marketing its AT&T relationship, which offers AT&T subscribers bargain pricing for the music subscription under a family plan. Beats’ promotional focus on the deal underlines the business importance of bundling in a field where garnering audience is paramount. Satellite radio has long recognized the value of bundled exposure, offering a few months of free listening to new-car buyers when satellite radio is built into the dashboard.

Spotify has its own telecom deals, and Spotify’s main European competitor Deezer, a prolific telecom deal-maker, is said to be seeking a U.S. telecom partner before extending its service to the American market.

Brad Hill