Spotify picks 3 as first UK mobile partner

LONDON - Spotify has signed its first deal with a UK mobile operator, offering its subscription service on 3UK's Android HTC Hero handset.

Spotify: coming to 3
Spotify: coming to 3

The HTC Hero launches in November, and is the first handset offered by 3 that is based on Google’s Android operating platform.

Subscribers signing up for the 3/HTC Hero deal will pay an upfront fee of £99 and £35 a month to get the handset with Spotify Premium for mobile and computer; free Skype-to-Skype calls, unlimited internet and texts and calls to other 3 mobiles and 750 minutes of calls to other networks. Contracts run for two years.

Spotify is already available on Apple’s iPhone but can only be used by those paying for Spotify’s £9.99 a month premium service. Nonetheless, when it launched in September it topped Apple's App Store download charts.

Spotify may need to sign more deals like the one with 3 if it is to carry on. In spite of its huge popularity in the UK, it has warned that unless record companies change the way they charge Spotify for streaming their tracks or more people signed up to the premium service it could close.

3 said today that it planned to extend its relationship with Spotify across a range of its products, including mobile broadband. The phone is not yet available but 3 is inviting people interested to register for updates