In most parts of the world, you need to be a paying Spotify subscriber to use its mobile app. In the US, it’s slightly different: the Spotify app provides free access to its personal radio features, although not full on-demand music.
Things may be a-changing for Spotify, though. A report on The Verge claims that the streaming music service is lobbying labels for an expansion of its full (ad-supported) free service to mobile devices.
That’s part of a wider negotiation process to renew the company’s licensing deals, with Spotify also thought to be pushing rightsholders to grant “substantial price breaks” in order to help the company start turning a profit.
Currently, Spotify pays 70% of its revenues to labels, publishers and collecting societies, with CEO Daniel Ek recently predicting that the company will pay $500m in 2012 alone.
With 5m paying subscribers and 20m active users, Spotify is clearly keen to boost both totals even further. Widening its free funnel to include mobile in more countries around the world would clearly be a step in the right direction.