Spotify, the subscription music streaming service from Sweden, is expanding a student discount program to the US, offering a premium membership to US college students for $4.99 per month.Spotify Prime, which typically costs $9.99 a month, removes ads, allows members to listen to music offline and provides more robust options for mobile listening.
The tack is one that Spotify and other streaming music services have taken before. Previously, Spotify offered half-off discounts to students who were members of the UK's National Union of Students and student-discount clearinghouse Unidays. Music service Rdio also offers a student discount, as does the Amazon Prime service.
Now comprising more than a fifth of total US music sales, streaming services are the fastest-growing part of the music industry. Last year, paid subscription services increased 57 percent to $628 million, while revenues from permanent digital downloads like albums and single tracks declined 1 percent to $2.8 billion, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.