You can always rely on 3 to try something new...
The progressive little telco has kicked off the week with a rather ingenious new bundle: an HTC Hero (new on the network) and natively installed Spotify app with free Premium access. Break it down and the deal plays out rather well: 24 months of free Spotify Premium access (worth £240), 750 monthly cross network minutes, unlimited texts, unlimited data, unlimited 3 to 3 calls and unlimited free Skype calls on a two year 35pm contract with a £99 free up front.
"This is a very exciting deal for Spotify," said Spotify global business development head Faisal Galaria. "We're intent on offering people a high quality, simple yet powerful portable music experience at a fair price and we're thrilled to be working with 3 to bring Spotify to UK music fans."
He's right - native installations are fundamental to market acceptance: just look at Internet Explorer market share and the fuss over what browser(s)/antivirus, etc can be shipped with Windows. People tend to use what they're given (depressing as that sometimes is).
"Spotify Mobile is a fantastic digital service which gives consumers the ability to enjoy and share music in an affordable way," added 3 product and services director Charlotte Blanchard. "As a first step we've built this service into an attractive, well-priced package with the HTC Hero. Over time our deal with Spotify will extend across a range of our products including Mobile Broadband."
Note the really exciting bits here: "as a first step" and "extend across a range of our products" - so this is where the 3 Spotify deal really takes off. Will we see Spotify now work with other networks or can we expect a counter attack of Vodafone/Napster, T-Mobile/Amazon MP3 and those dedicated Spotify Mobiles, etc? We don't know, but now this first stone has been cast we're eager to find out ...