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Spotify steps up clip sharing with messaging app Tango

Streaming music service moves into messaging with a partner that has its strongest standing in the US, where Spotify's presence is thinner than it is elsewhere in the world.


Spotify is widening its social and mobile net to include the messaging world, and it's picked a free messaging app called Tango to do so.

Spotify said it is partnering with Tango because the company has technology nimble enough to quickly integrate shareable clips of songs from Spotify's catalog.

It also doesn't hurt that Tango, which has 160 million registered users and 60 million active monthly ones, has its biggest presence in the US, where Spotify has yet to achieve the kind of reach it enjoys elsewhere in the world, including in Europe. By contrast, close to half of all Tango users are in the US.

Worldwide, Spotify has said it has 24 million active users and 6 million paid subscribers, though the figures haven't been updated since early this year.

Tom Hsieh, Spotify's vice president of strategic partnerships, rejected the suggestion that Spotify is having trouble growing in the US.

"US is going great, we're thrilled with the growth, but there's always room for more growth," he told CNET. "Our top three priorities are growth, growth and growth."

Spotify wouldn't provide data to support Hsieh's comments about US growth, though its gaping losses despite soaring revenue make its top priorities clear.

Tango said the deal includes revenue sharing. Under the partnership, Tango users can insert free 30-second clips of any song from Spotify's catalog into a message. To hear the full song, listeners will be flipped over to Spotify's app, which on mobile devices allows on-demand listening only by a paid subscription. Tango said it will share in revenue generated by subscriptions sparked by the clips shared on its platform.

Spotify said terms of the deal are confidential.

Tango doesn't have an exclusive relationship with Spotify in the messaging app world, but Tango co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Eric Setton said the challenges of integrating a messaging platform and securing licensing rights with labels make it a de facto exclusive for the time being. Spotify said it has ambitions to take the Tango partnership further and keep investing in its technology once data about its use starts to flow in.