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Spotify opens up to mobile devices and 20 more countries

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Music streaming service Spotify is planning to extend its service to mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets using both Android and iOS.

The company is also about to expand to 20 new contries, including Chile, Malta and Peru' and reaching a total of 55 countries worldwide.

Spotify so far has been offering free, or rather ad-supported music service only on PCs, while its mobile apps were restricted to paying subscribers.

The move to include mobile devices in the free offer comes in a bid to keep competition at bay.

With the same aim in mind, the Swedish firm is also about to drop the 10-hours-a-month cap on long term users of its free services.

Spotify on smartphone will work in a different way from the PCs platform: users will be able to build playlists of songs but the songs will be played back in random order. More control will be extended to tablet users, who will have the choice to select specific tracks.

Company founder Daniel Ek said that bringing free service to mobile devices means more people will enjoy the vast catalogue of good music available. Eventually, according to Ek, this will lead to more people switching to the premium version, which is advert-free, offers higher-quality audio and gives ability to listen to songs offline.

"Our very clear mission is getting more people to access and discover more great music," Mr Ek told a press conference in New York, "Along with more free users there will be more subscribers, and that means more revenue back to the industry."

So far as great music goes, legendary rock band Led Zeppelin has just signed an agreement with the streaming service which will make Spotify the first music provider to offer the band's full back catalogue in streaming to the internet audience. Not a bad deal at all.

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