Sunnyvale, California — Prominent Web portal Yahoo just on Tuesday tapped the hot music service Spotify to fill the gap left open when the Silicon Valley Internet media company killed its Yahoo Music Unlimited, said that it will be integrating Spotify internet radio service into its websites as part of a quest to reinvent itself as an online stage for digital content.
The strategic alliance between Spotify’s popular music service and Yahoo’s Media Network, will allow it to distribute the contents, which boasts a monthly unique viewer-ship of nearly 700 million, according to comScore. This marks Spotify’s largest partnership since teaming up with Facebook late last year.
“Delivering compelling premium experiences across screens is core to our mission at Yahoo,” Ross Levinsohn, Yahoo’s interim chief executive, said in a statement. “Spotify is the leader in the digital music field and together we can provide the ‘soundtrack’ for users around the world.”
Music from Spotify will initially be integrated on Yahoo Music, and later expand to the rest of Yahoo’s worldwide Web properties, such as Yahoo Movies and its celebrity gossip site OMG!. Yahoo will also take advantage of Spotify’s newfound platform status to launch its own app for Spotify users. The Yahoo app will launch on Spotify later this year.
The alliance will also include adding an application to the Spotify platform to provide Yahoo! editorial content to the more than 10 million users of the London-based on-demand music service.
“At Spotify we want to light up the Web with music and as Yahoo!’s global music partner we are able to reach their massive audience” said Daniel Ek, Spotify CEO and founder, in a statement. “We are really excited about the new Yahoo! leadership team and thrilled to partner with them to build great experiences around high quality content.”
In a statement, Yahoo mentioned that this collaboration is intended to “drive deeper user engagement” for both firms. Users will be able to play Spotify music directly from Yahoo, without leaving the service, much like people can do via Facebook. The Yahoo app, meanwhile, will supply Spotify users with content like artist profiles and musical programs.
“Briefly, Spotify offers up the opportunity to level the playing field: You do not have to read a writer’s account of a ‘good’ record and simply take it on faith–now you can hear the music for yourself and then decide,” Yahoo said in a post on Yahoo Music. “And if it appears that you find trusted musical sources, whether friends, outsiders or other Spotify users, you will have that much more access to great music and very likely have an even better music experience.”
Meanwhile, Yahoo, which launched its Music Unlimited service in May 2005, backed off from the market less than three years later, citing an inability to attract enough paying subscribers. Among the obstacles: electronic locks on the songs required by record labels at the time made the music service incompatible with Apple’s iPods.
As for Spotify, this distribution deal dovetails with the Swedish company’s plans to reach as many people as it can with its free service, then reel them into its premium service, which costs about $10 a month for unlimited access on mobile devices, among other perks.