3, INQ and Spotify draw closer

Paul Rasmussen
25 Aug 2009

The music streaming service Spotify has taken a further step into the mobile music arena, having accepted fresh financing from the owner of 3, Hong Kong mogul Li Ka-shing. 3UK is already in negotiations with Spotify about prebundling the service on its mobiles.

While the level of investment from the Li Ka-shing Foundation has not been disclosed, Spotify has already raised between $ 30 million and $50 million from other backers including music labels.

The new money has been enough for Li’s Hutchison Whampoa group to gain a seat on Spotify's board of directors, which will be filled by Frank Meehan, the CEO of INQ Mobile, which is also owned by Hong Kong-headquartered operator.

According to Meehan, his move is intended to intensify Spotify's position in the mobile space, after Spotify developed a yet-to-be approved application for the iPhone. “I will be taking a full board position and will be very focused in helping Spotify become a success in mobile.”

This appointment has also triggered speculation that Spotify could convince other operators to carry the INQ handset once the music service has been proven with 3, although the company has announced plans to support Nokia's S60 platform and Android.

The Guardian

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