Spotify and The Times Team Up in Acquisition-Retention Two-Step

By Minal Bopaiah

Music streaming site Spotify has struck a deal with News UK to offer a year of free music to subscribers of The Times and The Sunday Times.

While most media coverage has focused on the pros of the deal for Spotify, the deal is actually quite advantageous to both parties.

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Obvious, Spotify stands to gain by exposing The Times’ 153,000 digital subscribers and 207,000 print+digital bundle subscribers to their service.

But The Times also gains in the retention department. While most news sites have chosen a metered paywall approach to digital subscriptions, The Times and The Sunday Times remain one of the few bastions of hard paywalls in the general news niche.

By offering a year of free access to Spotify’s catalogue of 20 million songs, The Times just created a huge retention incentive and introduced a new member benefit for subscribers — without having to invest in content creation or additional technology!

That’s a rather savvy and unprecedented marketing tactic in the digital subscription space, and one we recommend other subscription sites pursue. For the most part, it’s best to explore marketing deals with complementary, but not competitive, subscription services. That means sticking to your respective B2C or B2C niches.

Have you heard of any other subscription sites teaming up in this way? If so, let us know in the comments below.