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Simfy, the Spotify-of-Germany, partners with social network StudiVZ

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Simfy, a sort of German equivalent to Spotify, has signed an exclusive partnership with VZ networks, Germany’s largest social network and operator of the so-called Facebook clone StudiVZ.

The deal will see VZ’s 16 million users being given access to simfy’s ad-supported and free on-demand music streaming service, which comprises a catalog of more than 6.2 million songs. In addition, simfy is launching a new student rate for qualifying VZ users offering premium features, such as offline playback and mobile access, starting at €6.99 per-month – a first of its kind, says the company, and fully supported by the major labels.

Zooming out a bit, the partnership with VZ networks is a sign of a wider B2B strategy whereby simfy wants to bundle its music streaming service with a variety of partners – social networks, internet service providers, cable operators and mobile network operators – and is seen as “key to scaling both our service and brand within Germany and for our planned internationalization”, says the company. It’s also a strategy that Spotify has tried with mixed success, while companies like Sweden-based Aspiro offer a fully white-labeled service.

To that end, the simfy VZ networks offering includes a co-branded desktop app ( “simfy – VZ edition”) and support for VZ Connect. Further integration is on its way too, such as the ability to embed simfy’s social features into VZ users’ profile pages.

Moving forward, simfy says we can expect “major announcements” in the mobile, ISP and retail space in early Q1 2011, while an English version of simfy will be launched next week and expansion into a number of international regions “soon”.

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