Spotify in mobile music talks with U.S. operators

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NEW ORLEANS--Spotify is currently in discussions to offer its streaming music service through U.S. mobile operators, the company's CEO Daniel Ek said Wednesday.

"We've had great discussions with carriers [in the U.S.]," Ek said during a keynote speech here at the CTIA Wireless 2012 event. "We want to find the right kinds of partnerships to create long-term relationships." Ek did not specify which operators have expressed interest in offering Spotify services to their subscribers or whether any agreements are imminent. Spotify has previously inked deals with overseas operators 3UK and Telia.

Spotify is available in 13 countries and touts more than 10 million active users, including 3 million premium subscribers. The U.S. version offers three flavors: Spotify Free (on-demand, buffer-free access with occasional advertising); Spotify Unlimited (uninterrupted, ad-free access via computer for $4.99 per month); and Spotify Premium (online and offline access across the desktop and 3G/WiFi networks for $9.99 per month).

Spotify's existing mobile offerings include apps optimized for operating systems including Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS, Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android and Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone. "Our mobile strategy is that we're device-agnostic," Ek said. "We want people to take their playlists with them wherever they are."

Ek said Spotify users listen to an average of 100 minutes a day and have created more than 700 million playlists. He added that its premium services have generated more than $250 million in payments back to the music industry, noting that more than 500 million consumers worldwide still listen to music across various illegal services and sites.

Ek closed by asking everyone in the CTIA conference audience to consider how Spotify integration might enhance their own mobile products and services. "We don't feel like we're building a company or product or service--we're building a platform for the future of music," he said.

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