Spotify hasn't had to deal with much competition in terms of music streaming services. Beats Music, the new product offered by the makers of Beats by Dre headphones, has made ground at an alarming rate and stands to catch Spotify a lot quicker than the latter had planned. The older service isn't taking it lying down however, and will soon be offering premium memberships to thousands of newspaper readers. For free.
Alas, American readers: This deal probably won't apply to you. Right now it's only available to readers of The Times and Sunday Times, two established British publications. The offer is all-encompassing: If you sign up to receive a subscription from said publications, you get a free year of Spotify Premium. If you already subscribe to one of said publications, you can also activate a free year.
The idea benefits both sides, but Spotify will see the bigger boost. Although it charges a fee for its premium service, most of its funds actually come from the advertisements placed on the page and heard between tracks. The amount they can charge advertisers to feature on its service is based on how many subscribers it has. Therefore if, entirely theoretically, every subscriber to The Times jumped onboard, Spotify would have a significant amount of new leverage to wield at advertisers. The Times can hope that the deal will attract at least a few new subscribers, and it isn't losing anything in the process.
The flaw in Spotify's method is the audience its aiming for. Pew Research Center indicates that more than 75 percent of daily newspaper readers are over 50 years old, whereas Spotify's current numbers are almost exactly the same for those under the age of 40. It might be pitching at the wrong audience here.