Streaming Newspapers

Digital content provider Aspiro is trying to grow its unlimited music service in the Nordic territories by teaming with some leading national newspapers.

In a story that appears to have begun in Paid Content, an electronic magazine for digital content, the Oslo-based vendor says its music service WiMP will be offered through Swedish evening newspaper Aftonbladet and Danish daily Politiken.

Earlier this year, Schibsted – which publishes Aftonbadet – paid 340 million Swedish krona ($50.8 million) for a 73.4 percent stake in the Norwegian provider in a bid to inject paid streaming content in to its news business.
However, since then, Aspiro has issued SEK 100 million ($14.9 million) worth of new shares to raise funds for further expansion. Most were snapped up by a company controlled by Ferd Capital and Norwegian entertainment retailer Platekompaniet.
Aspiro is now trying to break into Poland. It’s hired a former local Universal Music exec and a former national newspaper editor to kick-start the move.
WiMP, the company’s leading product, offers tunes direct to subscribers and is delivered through telco carriage deals similar to the one it’s just set up in The Netherlands with Ziggo.
Aspiro’s latest figures published Nov. 6 saw the firm’s Q3 net loss grow from last year’s SEK 5.3 million to SEK 29 million ($4.3 million) despite 10 percent better sales of SEK 69.5 million ($10.3 million).
Most of the damage was done by Aspiro’s non-music operations. It wrote off SEK 8.3 million from the value of its mobile search business, while sales in its online video unit dropped by almost one-fourth.
But music sales grew 45 percent to SEK 50.8 million. WiMP has 350,000 paying users in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Germany and Holland. More country launches are planned.