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Spotify gets its MTV, plus VH1 and CMT too

The startup will be the streaming-music service for top music TV company Viacom, directly providing the tunes on MTV, CMT, and VH1 apps and websites.


Streaming-music service Spotify has landed a big DJ gig, securing a partnership with TV giant Viacom to be the preferred streamer of tunes for visitors to MTV, CMT, and VH1's websites and apps.

"MTV opened up the world of music to me as I was growing up," Spotify founder and Chief Executive Daniel Ek said in a statement Tuesday. "Being able to connect a whole new generation to music through streaming on MTV, VH1 and CMT sites and apps will bring an amazing experience to Spotify users."

The partnership gives Spotify a leg up on competition like Beats Music, which is being acquired by Apple, and Google's Play Music All Access in a tight, early, and accelerating race to lead the nascent subscription streaming-music model. Though still a relatively new and untested format, subscription streaming -- in which members pay a flat rate monthly to essentially rent a smorgasbord of tens of millions of songs -- is one of the fastest growing sectors in music sales.

Spotify is leading the race with 10 million paying members, but Apple's planned purchase of Beats for $3 billion and a coming service from Google's YouTube means the Sweden-based startup will have tech giants fueling their entrants to the race more -- and makes it vital for smaller, stand-alone companies like Spotify to get their name out there as much as possible.

The Viacom partnership will provide a big boost there. MTV, CMT, and VH1's sites and apps get more than 60 million unique visitors monthly.

Starting next month, Viacom will stream music directly from Spotify on any artist pages on MTV, CMT, and VH1's sites, which are a bit like the networks' profile pages for artists. The MTV and CMT apps will also use Spotify to stream music.

In a promotional exchange, the Viacom networks will curate music playlists on Spotify that hook onto its shows like MTV's "Teen Wolf" or events like the Video Music Awards.

MTV/VH1/CMT will create unique profiles on Spotify, and at least 150 playlists across Viacom's network of channels will run simultaneously at any given time, including content from the MTV archives.

The companies wouldn't disclose financial terms of the deal.