Li Ka-Shing invests in Spotify, bringing crucial mobile expertise

Li Ka-Shing, chairman of Hutchison Whampoa, which owns the 3 network (and hence INQ), has just confirmed his involvement in a fresh investment into music streaming service Spotify, which will see a seat on Spotify’s board occupied by Frank Meehan, INQ’s CEO.

So far, Spotify has raised between £20m and £30m from investors and record labels. Exact terms of this fresh investment were undisclosed. But it’s clear what’s going on here: with Spotify’s upcoming raft of mobile apps – including, but not limited to, the iPhone app (which kinda depends on whether Apple approves it anyway) – Spotify needs some serious mobile know-how on board. With this new deal, they’re getting it. According to New Media Age, Spotify was already in talks with 3 to get its software preinstalled on new handsets. That seems all the more likely now.

It’s not only the mobile aspect of the deal that’s interesting. There were reports last week that Spotify was considering China as a potential new market. Hong Kong-based Ka-Shing will be invaluable to any efforts in that direction. Every week now I seem to find myself writing the same sentence: is there any stopping Spotify?