Spotify today announced it's expanding the availability of its Spotify for Students service to 33 new countries across the globe. Previously available in the United States, United Kingdom, and Germany, the service can now also be accessed by users living in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Philippines, Singapore and many other countries.
Spotify for Students allows university students to grab a Premium subscription – normally priced at $9.99/month – at half the price. The subscription offers ad-free music streaming, access to a library of over 30 million songs, advanced sound quality, and offline listening, the company says. To take advantage of the promotional price, students need to visit the Spotify Student site where they will be required to sign up with their personal details. The offer is good for up to four years after which students are expected to graduate, but note that Spotify will verify your enrollment. For this purpose, the digital music service has partnered with SheerID in order to verify that those who want to take advantage of the deal are actually students currently attending a university. Spotify first introduced its half-price student discount back in 2014, offering it in three key markets. Three years later, the music streaming giant is finally expanding its student-oriented offering to other territories, most likely in a move to counter Apple Music's own student discount program that launched last year in seven markets. Soon afterward, Apple made the subscription available to college students in 32 additional countries.
Back in March, Spotify announced it has reached 50 million paying subscribers, but that's not to say the company doesn't have higher ambitions. With the expansion of its student discount program, Spotify aims to hook students from across the world to its music database, likely hoping they will turn their young users into lifelong customers. Founded in Sweden in 2008, Spotify has often received criticism for its free ad-supported business model which some music labels argued devalues music. For its part, Spotify always defended its freemium system as the best way to get customers to pay for a service. Still, recent years have marked a change in attitude, as Spotify looks to align itself with the competition.