iPhone and Android phone and tablet people should know -- Spotify is trying to work some magic around music licensing with the big music labels so that they can extend free, ad-supported service to these devices, as a permanently free service without expiration.
"Spotify, the popular music subscription service, is due to meet in the coming weeks with its major counterparts in the record industry to renew their licensing agreements. The Verge has learned that managers at Spotify are expected to ask for substantial price breaks from the music labels as well as the rights to extend its free pricing tier to mobile devices," writes Greg Sandoval at The Verge.
The main part of the Spotify story so far is that a lot of people are using the free Spotify service, and the amount of people with paid subscriptions has been lower than Spotify expected. That leaves Spotify in a bit of a "spot" -- it needs to pay lower licensing costs for the music (like Pandora Radio has been working towards).
There might be mutual interest here, since the big labels need Spotify and Pandora to work to make the big labels work over the long term. The benefit to those of us that use Spotify is that we'll get free service on iPhone, iPad, and all Android platforms.
This could also be a prediction into what Spotify sees about its future: it wants to keep the paid subscription but is realizing that without a broad base of free service, people will stop using it after the free trial is over.