Spotify will launch in Australia and New Zealand Tuesday, giving the leading on-demand music service its first presence outside Europe and the United States and its 14th and 15th overall markets. The service's catalog will have 16 million tracks in each country.
The company is in talks with Virgin Mobile in Australia and Vodafone in New Zealand to bundle the service with mobile plans, according to a report at the Australian. For Australians who opt for the free, advertising-based service, Spotify has signed up such brands as Commonwealth Bank, Carlton United Brewers, McDonald's and Triple J, according to the Australian.
Spotify users in each of the two countries will get a desktop app not available elsewhere. Triple J, a nationally networked radio station, is sponsoring the Triple J app in Australia. According to the press release, the Triple J app "will showcase new tracks on Triple J Hitlist, featured albums…include past Hottest 100 countdowns" and feature music news. New Zealand Spotify users will get access to the NZ Top 40 app that will showcase the weekly Official New Zealand music charts.
Spotify won't have Australia to itself. Rdio launched there in January. Deezer and Mog (through a partnership with Telstra) did so in April. Three other music streaming services launched in 2011: Sony's Music Unlimited, JB Hi Fi NOW and Sumsung Music Hub.
But Australia is a logical place for the service to expand. The country is the sixth-largest music market in the world by revenue, according to the IFPI, just behind France at #5 and ahead of Canada at #7. Australia's music sales grew 5.7% in 2011. Digital accounted for 38% of recorded music revenue and grew 51.2%.
Although the country has only 21.8 million people, Australians are big spenders: the country's $21.80 music revenue per capita ranks behind that of Japan ($32.30), Norway ($24.50) and the U.K. ($22.90) but ahead of Germany ($18.1), France ($15.30), the Netherlands ($14.30), the U.S. ($14.00) and Ireland ($11.20).
New Zealand is the world's 30th largest recorded music market and ranks #26 in digital revenue. Per-capita recorded music revenue in the country of 4.3 million is $13.10, just below that of the U.S. ($14.00), according to the IFPI.
Not many music subscription services already operate in New Zealand, however. Rdio, Sony's Music Unlimited, Rara.com are the three paid subscription services in the country. New Zealand consumers have more options for digital downloads, such as iTunes, Flybuys Music, Telecom Music Store and Marsbeck Digital.