Spotify Finally Makes Its Australian Debut

After months of promises, Spotify Australia has launched with an aggressive pricing strategy and something of a focus on Australian music. How does it compare to the existing music streaming services?

It had been tipped to launch some months ago, and then delayed, then tipped again -- I'm still waiting to get the full explanation for that one -- but Spotify's launched this morning, so if you'd previously signed up for information on the music streaming service, you should have a shiny email sitting in your inbox right now.

Spotify's pricing comes in three tiers; where most services have what essentially boils down to a two-tiered approach (typically desktop only and mobile), Spotify Australia's hook is that it also offers a free, ad-supported service.

I've been using Spotify's service for a couple of months now (hey, there have to be some perks to this journalism gig), and it's a nice, clean client that works well across desktop, iOS and Android devices, with plenty of decent social features that so far haven't been worth much, because the Australian social community hasn't been there; hopefully that will change.

So how does Spotify's pricing compare? Aside from the free offering, it follows a fairly similar pattern to its competitors

Service Basic Price/Month   Premium Price/Month
Spotify $6.99   $11.99
Rdio $8.90   $12.90
JB HiFi NOW $6.67 (12 month)   $10
Sony Music Unlimited $4.99   $12.99
Deezer $7.49   $14.99
Rara $7.99   $12.99
Zune Music Pass $11.99

As with all of these services, whether or not there's "value" in them depends on your musical tastes and how much of your favourite artists or genres are available. Spotify's release states that it's offering "more than 16 million tracks", which should give it a reasonably broad skew.

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    Youshould add zune pricing in here as well, since it works in Australia as well!

      Fair point; now added. Now, for my next sleep-deprived trick...

      Remember also, Zune pricing includes the music video service on Xbox.

    It call depends on content. I quite liked Sony unlimited until I saw how much music was missing from it.

    Any idea if Spotify will work on our TVs?

    Been using a US Spotify account for 3 months now and love the service, they even let you switch from a US account to an Australia account :).

      Ok, now it won't accept my Australian American Express, hopes going down slightly.

    Im so happy that it is finally released here, Will be buying Premium!

    What on Earth would the "decent social features" of a music streaming service be? Crowd-sourcing your taste? Proseltysing your favourite artists?

      see what your friend is listening to and listen to it yourself. so yes, what you said.

        Are sheeple incapable of deciding for themselves what music they ought to be listening to?

          If the fact that Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber is anything to go by, yes, yes they are.

          Surely you'd have friends with similar music tastes that you talk about artists/albums/concerts with? Most of the music I find out about is through my friends, because I'm not really into the mainstream music scene and I don't have a whole lot of time or interest in spending hours looking for new artists that I actually like. These comments about the masses being idiotic 'sheeple' are getting ridiculous.

            Thanks Matt. Yes, I heard about this label group pulling their clataog from Spotify. They join Bob Dylan, Coldplay and a bunch of other labels and artists who are either pulling their titles or not licensing them to begin with. Part of the argument that supporters of subscription-based, on-demand services like Spotify use is that these companies are just reacting to the current business climate and illegal download culture. As an alternative to stealing they offer copyright holders and their licensors some small revenue stream.For an increasing number of artists and publishers, myself included, this is not a good enough reason to buy into the model.But let me take a minute to address the bigger picture. What artists are dealing with is an entire generation of listeners who assume that music is like water you turn the tap and it just comes out. Free. Easy. They feel strongly that sharing music is their RIGHT. Like it or not, this is a part of the modern culture of music fans'.But what they fail to understand is that music, like water, is NOT free. Someone's paying for it municipal government / tax dollars, in the case of water and a music-maker's time and production costs in the case of music.For all you music stealers out there: don't equate artists / copyright owners with large corporations. They are not always one-in-the-same. The vast majority of artists who choose to pursue music as a profession are themselves small businesses. Don't try to rationalize illegal downloading by telling yourself you're just sticking it to the man. Really what you're doing is slowly eroding the middle-class lives of countless artists and the other small businesses and industries that surround the creation of new music.Again, I think this problem runs very deep and we, as artists have to find new ways of negotiating the constantly changing terrain of how music is published and find alternatives to what is clearly a broken system. Spotify is not an alternative I can support.

    been waiting for this for years. loved it in the UK. really enjoying zune though and I'm worried my work will block and get me in trouble with spotify because it uses a bit torrent like system as the back end, even though it's all legal.

    I've really fallen in love with Rdio in the last few weeks. Can anyone who's played with both give any kind of comparison please?

    This might be going off topic but, I've never understood the concept of "streaming music" to a mobile device (at least in Australia). 3g connectivity is pretty poor (for me), you never get to own the content, you chew data from your monthly allowance every time you stream and people are still interested in this?

      The data usage is pretty low really and works quite well. I was streaming 'tunein' on my phone while on a bus in Adelaide using the vodafone network and didnt drop out all the way from city to southern suburbs. Data allowances on phone plans are quite generous, you have to flog these kind of services to really come close to your quota.

        Agreed, I often use shoutcast from Winamp, have been using it for ages while doing housework/renos etc. It's usually over wireless, gives a thousand more options and definitely doesn't chew through the data like you'd imagine.

        Is it worth going from Shoutcast to something like Spotify though? I shall investigate.

      Doesn't a Premium account let you save tracks for offline listening? That would be perfect for mobile devices.

      i don't stream music but i use MLB at bat on my android mobile. i stream live game audio when i am driving and it works pretty good.

    What's the difference between basic and premium?

      basic is just unlimited streaming on your computer without ads, premium you can download the files locally on your PC and stream and download on your mobile device too.

    So.. whats the music selection like? Rdio launched in australia but every 2nd album I tried wouldn't let you play it here in Australia. How does Spotify AU compare to Spotify US in that regard?

    Why would I do this ?

    "Clicking "Register" will also give Spotify access to your Facebook friends list and other public information. Nothing will be shared with Spotify until you click "Register""

    But, I don't want to do that...

    I wrote a quick post on why music streaming is important for Australia.


    installed spotify, realized you need a facebook account, uninstalled spotify

      +1 deleted when I saw I needed facebook

    Requires Facebook? No thanks, I'll stick with Grooveshark.

      I don't have Facebook, have been using Spotify UK for over a year and just switched my location to Australia this morning so I didn't have to use my mates uk PayPal. Working fine, absolutely love it at work and home.

    There appears to be no local Windows Phone app for Spotify - have they forgotten about us poor Mango owners or is this deliberate?

    haven't heard an advert yet which is weird, awesome application!

    Loving it already. 30 day free premium trial is nice :)

      The iOS app can't see what's in your library on your device though, which is a little silly...

    Just wanted to say I couldn't live without Spotify! Its been around for years now in Sweden and everyone uses it. The music selection is good (and constantly growing), it works well on both computer and phone (get the premium account so you can listen offline!) and its super easy to find new music. You don't at all have to connect it to Facebook, which I'm happy for. So come on Australia, get in there!

    No Bob Dylan on Australian Spotify when listening via a Sonos player! Apart from a few crappy bootlegs and the soundtrack to No Direction Home. Spotify limit the songs based on the connection you use. That's a bit p...-weak in my opinion.

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