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Free music! Spotify to launch new mobile streaming service: report

Spotify's current mobile iOS app.
Spotify's current mobile iOS app.Spotify
Spotify's current mobile app for iOS.Spotify

Spotify is getting ready to unveil an ad-supported, free mobile streaming service, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Previously, mobile streaming was only available to Spotify Premium members who paid $9.99 a month. On Dec. 11, the Sweden-based company will announce that free members — who already have access to ad-supported streaming on their desktops and laptops — will be able to listen to music on their smartphones as well.

The free mobile service will give users access to a limited number of on-demand songs, a "person familiar with the matter" told the Wall Street Journal, but will mostly consist of recommendation-based internet radio, much like Pandora or the company's own Spotify Radio. 

NBC News reached out to Spotify but the company declined to comment. It did, however, invite journalists to an event on Dec. 11 without telling them what product was being launched.

TechCrunch talked to an unnamed source who claimed that the event was, in fact, being held to announce a free mobile streaming service. If true, it means that Spotify users will have an alternative to the mobile streaming service launched earlier this year by Rdio, one of the company's biggest competitors. Spotify currently has 20 million active users worldwide, with 6 million paying subscribers. 

Keith Wagstaff writes about technology for NBC News. He previously covered technology for TIME's Techland and wrote about politics as a staff writer at You can follow him on Twitter at @kwagstaff and reach him by email at: