Spotify threatens Apple's market dominance with launch of iTunes rival

The Spotify release reads:"You're listening to a huge amount of music on your iPods and getting your Spotify playlists onto them as MP3s has been a serious hassle, forcing you to juggle multiple music players."

This is true. Apple fanboys and girls have been unable to sync up their iPod and Spotify music playlists. But this is something has has been stoically accepted. Given Apple's famously litigious stance on 'cracking' iTunes, such unity of tuneage seemed impossible.

But what's this?

"As of today, Spotify is making it possible for everyone to take their playlists with them in one lean, green music machine. Simply connect your iPod to your computer via your USB cable and watch it magically appear in the new 'Devices' section of your Spotify sidebar."

This is a serious poke in the eye for Apple. But Spotify does not stop there. A new Spotify download service allows users to purchase songs for as little as 50p: "Sync all the MP3s contained in your Spotify playlists to your iPod, and purchase the rest through the all new Spotify download service."

Them's fighting words.

Spotify boasts nine million users to date, small fry compared to iTunes' 160 million worldwide. But this move could mark a seachange in Spotify's fortunes. How will Apple respond to the rival music service's attempt to go from loss-making to lucre-raking?

First, let's look at precedent. Only recently the Sony Reader app was barred from the App Store because it could get around the iTunes purchase protocols. While Spotify users won't be able to move downloaded songs onto CDs for 'offline listening', with everything neatly stored on your iPod or iPhone (which can be neatly plugged into a speaker anyway), who cares?

Powering the new service is British outfit 7Digital. Founded by Ben Drury in 2004, this alternative download service has long been the David to iTunes Goliath. The white-label partnership with Spotify is just the growth driver needed to achieve real market penetration for the firm.

Daniel Ek, CEO & Founder of Spotify, says: "From today, Spotify really is the only music player you'll ever need. Our users don't want to have to switch between music players, but they do want to take their playlists with them wherever they go, on a wider range of devices, more simply and at a price they can afford.

"Now we've made that possible on one of the world's most popular consumer devices."

We'll bring you Apple's response as soon as it lands.

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