Spotify event: Join us Wednesday (live blog)

A Spotify press event, expected to be the unveiling of a free mobile product, kicks off Wednesday at 7 a.m. PT. CNET will be there live to bring you news updates and running commentary.

Spotify house at SXSW 2013.
James Martin/CNET

Spotify will hold a media event Wednesday, December 11, and we'll be there to bring you all the news.

The press conference, which is expected to be the subscription music service's announcement of a free mobile offering, starts at 7 a.m. PT at Spotify's new offices in New York. We'll live-blog the whole affair.

The event won't have a public webcast, so tune into CNET's coverage to know what's happening at:

CNET's live coverage of Spotify's press event

The invitation to the event simply read "We're having a media event. Like to come? There will be donuts." But Spotify is widely expected to unveil a free mobile product at the event, after a report last week that such an option was in the offing.

Spotify is free with advertising on desktops, but its on-demand streaming music on mobile devices has been reserved for premium subscribers paying $9.99 a month. That has held back Spotify's presence on connected devices, which are increasingly where much of online music listening is moving.

The coming service is expected to include a few songs available on demand, mixed into a radio product similar to Pandora or iTunes Radio. On-demand mobile streaming means users hear exactly the song or artists they search for; an online radio product delivers channels of similar songs and offers limited controls on what you hear.

Competitor Rdio introduced a free mobile offering in October.

In March, Spotify said it had surpassed 6 million subscribers, a gain of 1 million since December 2012, but it hasn't updated its user numbers since then -- expect an update Wednesday. Spotify, like most online subscription music services, is burdened by the high cost of music licensing. In Spotify's case, the company pays an estimated 70 percent of its sales to rights holders through direct deals with music labels and publishers.

Spotify nailed down an investment of $250 million -- close to half its revenue for all of last year -- in November that values the streaming music service at more than $4 billion. That would help it fund added costs from opening up on-demand mobile listening.

In addition to its more than 6 million paying subscribers, Spotify has more than 24 million active users in 32 countries worldwide.

UPDATED at 3:33 p.m. PT: that Spotify event won't have a public webcast.

 

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