Music service Spotify comes to New Zealand

TOM PULLAR-STRECKER
Last updated 09:55 22/05/2012

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A second major online music streaming service, Spotify, has debuted in New Zealand following the launch of rival Rdio in February.

Spotify lets consumers search for and listen to 16 million songs on computers, mobile phones and Apple devices.

There is a free advertising-funded version, another without adverts that costs $7.49 a month and a "premium" version costing $12.99 with enhanced sound quality that also lets subscribers listen to music offline.

Spotify was founded in Sweden in 2008 and claims 10 million subscribers.

Rival Rdio, a privately owned company bankrolled by Skype co-founder Janus Friis, beat Spotify to the New Zealand market in February. It has a catalogue of 15 million songs and costs $8.90 a month. For $13.90, subscribers can also download music that they can listen to offline on mobile devices.

A possible advantage of Rdio in a country where most internet users have comparatively meagre datacaps is that, unlike Spotify, Rdio does not make any use of peer-to-peer technology, so there is no risk of subscribers' broadband allowances being eaten into by fellow subscribers accessing music stored on their computer.

However, some US commentators say there can be a performance trade-off; for example, when clicking ahead to listen to different parts of a track.

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