Spotify launches iPhone and Android apps to premium users only

LONDON - Streaming music service Spotify has launched its highly anticipated iPhone app today to its premium £9.99 per month subscribers.

The Spotify app can be downloaded from the Apple App Store and the Android Market as of today, with access to over 6m tracks, which can be stored in playlists and listened to without an internet connection.

Speculation was rampant as to whether Apple would approve the Spotify app or not, as the service seemingly competes with the iPhone's native iTunes Store.

Apple's app approval board has been criticised for denying apps on competitive, sometimes trivial grounds -- such as the Google Voice app, which was turned down by Apple last month.

The Spotify app mimics many functions of an iPod, by allowing users to store up to 3,333 songs, which can be listened to at any time.

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek said the two companies were happy with the commercial arrangement that was reached, by allowing only its premium, paying users to download the app.

In an interview with Sky News, Ek said: "I look at this as a win-win in the sense that we're talking about paid-for music, so it can only be a good thing."

Spotify is used by more than 5m users across Europe, and its iPhone app is one of the most anticipated in recent memory, despite Apple's conflict of interest.

The company has been billed as a saviour for the music industry -- in Sweden, the service already drives more royalty revenue towards Universal Music than iTunes does.

Ek told Sky News that expanding Spotify onto mobile phones will mean even more cash for the ailing music industry -- something he hoped to achieve with his business since launching last year.

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