July 30, 2011

Berkett talks about Spotify

From Paidcontent.co.uk: Virgin Media CEO Neil Berkett says he will bundle Spotify with his broadband service for a “very, very low monthly subscription”.

Spotify charges £9.99 for its Premium service. “We’ll bundle it in to our broadband for significantly less than that,” Berkett told investment analysts. Actual prices were never disclosed in the companies’ recent bundling announcement.

“(The deal) was spawned from a transaction we tried to do two years ago,” Berkett said, referring to Virgin’s vapourware announcement of an unlimited downloads plan, which only garnered UMG’s buy-in. “It’s hard for ISPs to work with the content industry sometimes.

“(With Spotify), we had to sign a deal with each of the music labels and with Spotify. The reason they (labels) did it is, we’ll be more forceful when it comes to piracy. It’s the right thing to do to create digital confidence from our suppliers and customers.

“I’d like to do the same thing in movies but somebody has control of the rights window,” Berkett said, referring to Sky Movies’ lock-up on premium subscription rights - something which prohibits Lovefilm’s digital subscription offering and which is currently being scrutinised by UK competition authorities. Virgin-Lovefilm discussions for carriage on Virgin’s TiVo have so far come to nought.

Virgin Media has a fixed-line exclusive on Spotify for TiVo and bundled broadband access, which its customers will also be able to use on Virgin mobiles on a non-exclusive basis.


Jon said...

Shame Spotify seems no where near as good as Napster, which I currently use.

I would really miss all the charts, radio and pre-defined playlists I get at the moment.

Any one tell me advantages of Spotify over Napster (apart from the probable Virgin Price)?

Anonymous said...

Wish they would concentrate on aquiring new content rather than obtain things which will occur more cost,Personally i aint bothered about spotify i pay enough.

DaveM said...

"Virgin Media has a fixed-line exclusive on Spotify for TiVo and bundled broadband access, which its customers will also be able to use on Virgin mobiles on a non-exclusive basis."

Don't really understand what that means but if it's a cheap spotify premium account with no limitations (ie. we can use it on our mobiles and other pcs say at work) then it is great news.

Tom Chiverton said...

Great news, apart from the fact it looks like they'll either by trying to read your network traffic or doing more aggressive throttling in the name of 'piracy prevention'.

Richard said...

first things first...
'napster vs spotify' do a google search on the term. basically they are both good and both have idiosyncrasies. The main advantage of spotify on VM will be price I assume.
Hope it does mean a license to use on your pc and mobile too.

re traffic profiles and throttling etc.
As this is a legal service, there is no piracy issues.
Traffic shapping will know that the service is from spottify and it can be excluded from the download limits/counts.
Also, I am curious if you realise how much music you need to be streaming to reach the threshold limit and if you did and you are on 20MB+ services whether you would even realise you have gone over the capacity.

Lastly, spotify is being referred to as 'for tivo' and tivo is on its own BB network. Throttling doesn't happen in this world!!

campbellg said...

Not in the least bit interested, Mr Berkett - go and get some new TV content please and stop mucking about with gadgetry.

sibod said...

I suppose the Sky Anytime service has passed you all by - as in full VOD service with all the Sky channels that VM get - including movies and sport.

How is that not 'new content'?

campbellg said...

So does Sky Anytime provides us with new, never before seen programming that we would NOT get on the VM channels we have at the moment without Sky Anytime?

New programming is things like Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire - series we do not get on VM at all.

If Sky Anytime lets us see Sky Atlantic or other channels we don't already get then I'll stand corrected - if it is simply a better Catch up and increased library of repeats then I reiterate my comments.

sibod said...

Never before senen shows? How about Falling Skies, The Path to 9/11, The Walking Dead Season 2 etc? Is that not new unseen shows?

Or are you specifically asking for Sky ATlantic - which is not the same as lambasting VM for having "No new content".

It's already been detailed why we cant have Sky Atlantic yet, and yes, a new service like Spotify and Sky Anytime ARE new content.

campbellg said...

Don't we get Falling Skies, Walking Dead, Path to 9/11 without Sky Anytime?

How then is Sky Anytime new content - first run series I'm on about.

I'm not saying you can't see any new content on VM, it's just we are missing out on a lot of high quality programmes, yes, I'm primarily on about the ones on Sky Atlantic.

It's detailed why we can't have Sky Atlantic - Neil Berkett says it costs too much, Sky say it's a fair price, not terribly detailed to me.

We clearly disagree on the definition of 'new content'.

My point is VM are not concentrating on the one thing the majority of their customers want - SKy Atlantic - the poll on this site and others has shown this.

sibod said...


I'm not suggesting that wanting Sky Atlantic is not legitimate , but the whining and whinging that goes on in these forums about "Lack of content" betrays the fact that there is *PLENTY* of NEW content already on the platform.

Yes, S.A. is a sore omission from the lineup, but it's not the be all, and certainly the majority of the that channels output is repeats.

So it is somewhat inaccurate to state that there aren't any new shows on Virgin when clearly there are.

And yes, Sky Anytime *IS* additional content - it allows one to access movies and box-sets that are not otherwise available - remember Sky anytime+ is not just catchup.

campbellg said...

Boxsets of never before seen content? If not then it's simply a convenient way to watch repeats, not NEW content.

My remark regarding new content was very much off the cuff, I will rephrase that to get MORE new content. You may feel there is PLENTY of new content, I disagree, not the content that I'm after there isn't.

The majority of most channels' output is repeats, it's the stuff that isn't which sells a channel, and for me Sky Atlantic has far more new programming that I want to watch than any other channel.

sibod said...


Im glad you agree that Virgin are indeed showing lots of content, and admit that, in actuality, it's just a few shows on Sky Atlantic youd rather like to see, but cant, that annoys you.

campbellg said...

Lots of content - I don't recall saying lots of content, but if it makes you feel better to put words in my mouth then fine. Virgin media show lots of content, just a shame they don't show enough NEW content.

Yes, I am anoyed they don't have Sky Atlantic, as the channel shows very high quality new content - much of the programming premiered on other channels is, to me, not of the same standard.

I do not recall reading about people demanding spotify or Discovery 3D yet we are getting them, numerous polls and forums are filled with people wanting Sky Atlantic, yet VM snub them.

I assume by lack of response you agree Sky Anytime don't show additional NEW programming.

sibod said...


I stand corrected, what you said is this:
"I'm not saying you can't see any new content on VM, it's just we are missing out on a lot of high quality programmes, yes, I'm primarily on about the ones on Sky Atlantic."

I pointed out that, and you dismissed, is that we do get lots of new content - but you were specifically whinging about not having Game of Thrones, Trme, Broadwalk Empire - which accounts to, what, 3 or 4 shows spread out over a year?

Numerous polls? What numerous polls? The one on here?
People may not have been clamouring for these two services, but they are in the most pure defenition of the word, new, and contain content.
Therefore the fit that umbrella defenition quite nicely.

"I assume by lack of response you agree Sky Anytime don't show additional NEW programming."

Now who's putting words into who's mouth?

I'll be pedantic and say that if I havent seen show X it still is new to me!
But I know that's not what you meant.

Again, we're back to arguing tit for tat over who's defenition of new content is better.

I once again point out that all your actually complaining about is that you cant see a small selection of HBO shows on a channel you cant get - which is miles away from any mythical lack of content that you and minority of others whine about all the time.

Sky Atlantic, when it inevitably comes to Virgin, will sait your demands, but no doubt sky will launch some other HD chanel to make you green eyed later on.

With that, I think it's pointless discussing this further as clearly your view is set. Have the final word if you wish but I'll see no point in replying.

Bainsy88 said...

On the spotify front it's already available!

If you go to this page:


the link for which I found on a blog rather than a link on VM website, (after some searching I still havent found a link on VM site linking to this !)

It invites you to fill in your details to claim a code for 12 months free unlimited spotify.

The best bit is that all codes for spotify relate to premium so infact you actually get 12 months premium for free! Which is a nice saving of £120.

So VM seem to come through on this, maybe apart from the total lack of advertising on the offer and the lack of a link from there existing customers page. Anyway shouldn't grumble the offer ends on the 31/08/11 so enjoy your free spotify.

MCL said...

Spotify is much better quality that Napster in my view. Streaming is very consistent and high quality whereas I have found Napster buffering a lot. Charts and pre-playlists are weak on spotify but your own playlists work great. The whole application runs a lot more smoothly than Napster which looks better in theory but in practice is quite clunky.