Spotify, an online music-sharing service, has partnered with music website 7digital.com to sell MP3 music downloads.
Users of the Spotify software will see a link next to their chosen streaming track enabling them to click through to 7digital to download and purchase the track. In addition, Spotify is reportedly developing a method to integrate the purchase into the Spotify application. Which? has a guide to getting started with Spotify for listening to free music online.
According to Spotify, single tracks and albums will be available to purchase when the service is launched, but in the future users will be able to download complete playlists. The files are claimed to be in 320kbps MP3 format, although pricing has yet to be confirmed.
The launch of the tie-up with 7digital will initially focus on the UK and Germany, before being rolled out to France, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Norway and Finland.
Free legal online music streaming
Spotify is an online music streaming service, which is both legal and free, as the artists are paid royalties for the music you choose to listen to. Major record labels have signed up to allow Spotify to distribute their catalogues, including Universal, EMI, Warner Music and AMG.
Spotify, by letting users create and share playlists, also incorporates elements of social networking. The free version of the software gives users access to the full Spotify music catalogue, but adverts are played at regular intervals, and appear intermittently in the Spotify software window on-screen.
Which? reported earlier this month that visits to the Spotify website increased by 250% in February, although Which? tech expert Al Warman says: ‘there are rumours that the £9.99 per month advertising-free version is not attracting sufficient users to sign-up, as music-lovers consider the occasional advert a small price to pay for unlimited free music streaming’.
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