Sprint partners with Spotify for music streaming

Sprint rolls out a deal with the popular music-streaming service to go with a new cell phone that promises a better audio experience.

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Spotify CEO Daniel Ek speaks at the Sprint press event. Sarah Tew/CNET

Sprint has struck a deal with Spotify, the carrier announced Tuesday, in hopes of capitalizing on the popularity of streaming music services.

Sprint CEO Dan Hesse introduced Sprint Sound Session, which gives premium access to live events and Spotify. The wireless carrier is including access to Spotify's service with its Framily Plan. Starting May 2, all Framily customers will get a six-month trial of Spotify. Once the trial is over, they will get Spotify at the discounted rate of $7.99 a month. For six to 10 members, the rate falls to $4.99 a month.

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek told the audience at a press event in New York that this is "the biggest deal" Spotify has ever made.

"When I first met Dan, we didn't talk about pricing plans, we talked about speakers and audio quality and Pharrell," Ek said. "That's when I knew we had to partner with Sprint."

The deal was announced with the unveiling of a new version of the HTC One M8, called the HTC One M8 Harman/Kardon, a device focused on music. Check out CNET's first take of the device.

The company was expected to announce news around its HD voice and audio services, including the deal with Spotify. Sprint needed some buzz. It's still bleeding customers as a result of a complicated network upgrade. The nation's third-largest wireless carrier is overhauling its existing 3G network and adding faster 4G LTE, but it's been a rocky transition.

News reports indicated that Sprint would unveil its deal with music-streaming service Spotify, possibly at a discounted rate. Music-streaming services are gaining popularity right now, and many players are competing for a piece of the pie, including Spotify.

Updated 8:39 a.m. PT: Added more details from the event.

Correction, 11:35 a.m. PT: The story incorrectly stated when the six-month trial of Spotify starts for Framily customers. It starts on May 2.

 

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