Almost four years after The Times and Sunday Times went behind a paywall, the UK-based publication is hooking up with Spotify to offer one year’s free Premium subscription to the music-streaming service.
Spotify says it’s the first such partnership it has entered with a media owner anywhere in the world, though it has in fact forged similar partnerships with mobile and broadband providers before. The latest offer will be available to both new and existing subscribers who sign-up to a year-long Times and Sunday Times’ Digital pack, which costs £6 per week, or the Ultimate Pack for £8 per week.
Despite now offering a free version for mobile users and removing the 10-hour monthly caps for non-paying subscribers, Spotify is betting that the public will still wish to stump up £9.99 for the ad-free Premium version, which also provides offline mode and full access to one’s playlists on mobile. However, it needs people using the Premium version first to realize these benefits, thus inking this deal with the Ruper Murdoch-backed publisher News UK is one way of doing so.
The offer will be available to redeem from this Sunday at thesundaytimes.co.uk/spotify. There’s no word yet on whether this will be extended to News UK’s other properties, including the Sun which recently went behind a paywall, though it wouldn’t be surprising if it did.