One of the cornerstones of Deezer’s growth so far has been its partnership with telco Orange to bundle its streaming music subscription into people’s mobile tariffs. With that in mind, Spotify’s announcement of its own bundling deal with Orange Switzerland comes as something of a shock.
Orange is relaunching a set of tariffs called Orange Young, aimed at under-27s. The three tariffs all include unlimited voice calls and texts, as well as between 1GB and 10GB of monthly data, but also 12 months of Spotify Premium access.
What’s more, Spotify streams won’t be counted against those monthly data limits. Orange will also be promoting Spotify Premium to its other Orange Me tariff customers, again with the zero-data incentive.
Avoid the temptation for now to frame this as Orange ditching Deezer for Spotify though. Global operators are notoriously many-headed beasts, and it’s hardly unknown for a regional subsidiary to deliberately go its own way and choose a content partner that’s a rival to the one working with its group bosses.
Orange Switzerland’s choice of partner is its own decision, in other words, even if the symbolism won’t have been lost on either Spotify or Deezer. Update: And as a couple of commenters have pointed out, it’s even more Orange Switzerland’s decision, since it’s not a subsidiary of France Telecom any more.
The partnership is more significant as a pointer – along with Deezer’s existing deals – towards the kind of bundling tariff that could push streaming music further into the mainstream, especially for younger people.
The cheapest Orange Young Star package costs 29 Swiss Francs a month including a handset – around $31 – including that year of Spotify Premium access. It will be important to monitor take-up of the offer in Switzerland, but also moves elsewhere this year to follow suit with similar tariffs.