Spotify Strikes Deal With Samsung to Help Fight Off Apple Music

(Bloomberg) -- Spotify Technology SA has a new ally in its competition with Apple Inc.: Samsung Electronics Co., the world’s biggest smartphone maker.

The Spotify app will be available when customers set up their new Samsung phones, a deal that could boost the music-streaming service’s user base, the companies announced at an event in New York Thursday. Spotify will also be integrated into Samsung’s smart TVs and speakers.

Spotify has been looking to increase the number of people who use its free service, which funnels customers into the paid version of its app. Spotify introduced a new version of the free service in April, just weeks after listing shares on the New York Stock Exchange.

The deal sent Spotify shares up as much as 5.2 percent to $188 on Thursday, the biggest intraday gain in two weeks. The shares are up more than 40 percent since the company went public.

Spotify operates the world’s largest paid music service, but it faces increased competition from Apple Music. Apple said earlier this month that its service has surpassed Spotify in subscribers in select territories.

Smartphone makers and carriers are looking to music services to give them an edge over the competition. Apple Music comes installed on the iPhone, and Verizon Communications Inc. announced a deal Wednesday to give its customers six month of Apple Music for free.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.