Spotify Makes Its Asia Pacific Debut via Australia, New Zealand

Swedish streaming music service Spotify continues its geographical expansion by officially launching its digitally-restricted selection of more than 16 million songs from major and independent recording labels for customers in Australia and New Zealand.

Spotify wants to help reduce piracy in the Asia Pacific region by offering unlimited music at an affordable price or even for free.

Founded in 2006 and launched two years thereafter, Spotify now it serves approximately 20 million users across 15 countries. Australia and New Zealand are the first two countries in the Asia Pacific region to enjoy the cloud-based music service.

CEO and Co-Founder Daniel Ek hailed music junkies in Australia as he categorized them as “massive” music fans. “We have created a service that we know they will love,” he stressed.

As in other countries where the service have been running for some time now, the music subscription service is divided into three tiers. Users get free and unrestricted access 16 million songs in the catalog throughjust by downloading the Spotify desktop software, with free access for six months. Users will need to have the invitation first before being able to sign up.

The “unlimited tier” costs AU$ 6.99 (US$ 6.3 ) a month, and removes ads, which occasionally play when listening to songs. The premium AU$ 11.99 (US$ 11.72) monthly service lets users listen to music on mobile devices like the iPhone and Android smartphones. This lets users create  playlists, and even download music to their devices for offline listening.

Most of the songs in the third tier are in higher audio quality, which is drastically better than the free account, and no invitation is needed. However, songs saved on the device will be locked when a user cuts off the subscription.

Along with the launch, the digital music service also introduced several localized apps, and announced that they have completed licensing deals with four major Australian music labels, and numerous independent labels.

New Zealand Top 40 Music Charts app, developed exclusively by the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (RIANZ) for Spotify and intended for Kiwis, has likewise lunched. Spotify’s first year goal in the Commonwealth republics is to reduce piracy. “We absolutely want piracy to decrease. That’s a big goal of ours,” said Managing Director for Australia Kate Vale.