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Virgin-Spotify tie-up: The rumours just won't die

# 4 July 2011, 16:50 by Chris T

Rumours of an imminent launch for Virgin’s much-discussed music download service have started circulating once more.

Once again, the name linked with Virgin as service delivery partner is Spotify, the Swedish service that launched in the UK in 2009.

That was the year Virgin Media first promised to launch an all-you-can-eat download service all of its own. The difference is, two years on, Spotify is doing it and Virgin is still talking about it.

Spotify’s service has had limited success: its ad-supported ‘Spotify Free’ offering has been progressively pared back as fickle Brits have preferred to listen to music at the cost of hearing a few adverts every 20 minutes or so, rather than stumping up a tenner a month for the unlimited, uninterrupted experience.

According to the Guardian, a tie-up between Virgin and Spotify is now all but inevitable.

Such a deal would go some way towards solving a major headache for Virgin, which managed to get only one record label – Universal – to sign up for its original download plans. Spotify already has a wide, and widening, range of music available, although sources told the Guardian that the major labels all have the power to veto any deal Spotify does and will need to be satisfied that a tie-up with Virgin is in their interests.

Virgin told TechRadar this week that it is “working hard on a new music service,” neatly managing neither to confirm nor deny the reports of its tie-up with Spotify.

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