Spotify gets some local competition – but it's a bit of a WiMP

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Although Sweden-born streaming music startup Spotify has done well in Scandinavian countries it would appear to now have a local competitor in the shape of a new service launching in Norway.

Tech companies Aspiro and Platekompaniet have teamed up with telco Telenor to launch a music streaming service for Norwegian users. That’s all fine and dandy. However, someone there needs to go to marketing 101 classes as the service is called WiMP. Yes, I can just imagine myself “WiMPing out” at my Oslo pad listening to music …

Naming #fail aside, WiMP is launching with streaming deals with over 20 content providers for over 6.5 million songs, including the four major record companies and a number of smaller independent partners. These include Universal Music, Sony Music, EMI, Warner Music, Phonofile, Arts Pages, IODA, The Orchard, Beggars Group, Naxos, Vidzone and a few more.

Just as with Spotify, you can search for and discover new music, create playlists, favourites, and recommendations. It’s in Norwegian, obviously.

But aside form this being a vaguely interesting aside, it does rather pose a question for Spotify. If a local Scandinavian telco can come up with this, why can’t another telecoms provider?

Afterall, they have the billing relationship. Yes, there have been plenty of similar services from ISPs, however Spotify may in fact simply be starting to get people used to the idea of streaming music, rather than the company that ultimately benefits, with other players coming up later with the actual services that take off.

It can be tough out there on the bleeding edge.

  • Timmmmeh

    And ‘Spotify’ is such a great name..?

    • Ric

      Not a great name but at least it doesn’t mean p*ssy.

      • Bernie

        Who cares? As far as it works, and even remember its name, that’s how it works…

      • Anonymous

        I’ll remember Wimp… I barely remember Spotify (it’s not a real word, or at least one I’ve ever heard)

    • Tahir
      • Josh Lam

        That WAS exactly what I was going to say..

        Weakly Interacting Massive Particles – way cooler that MACHO’s.

  • Paul Jeffrey

    We’ll all be Wimping soon! They should have done research on the name!

  • Dominic

    Do you know what “Techcrunch” means in Norwegian? No? Exactly.

    • Anonymous

      A technologically-enabled vagina?

    • MrHarm

      Well, more or less everyone in Norway would know what wimp means in English.

      Anyway – the name means they got coverage on a major American-based technoblog. So I wouldn’t be so sure that the name choice wasn’t deliberate…

  • Lawrence

    Erm – moments after you posted that, Spotify went down. A possible link?

    • Paying Premium Customer

      Yeah Spotify is still down.

      • Pete Jones

        Any one know the reason spotify is down and when it’s like;ly to be back I’ve got my grandsons 1st birthday tomorrow and all the kids music is on spotify!

  • Eirik

    As a user of both Wimp and Spotify I can tell you there is more interesting differences between Wimp and Spotify than their naming. I have a premium account at Spotify and have been a beta-tester on Wimp.

    The main difference is probably due to the fact that one of the partners Platekompaniet, is a music retailer which pride itself with knowledgable staff. When you log into Spotify you are met with a home page presenting som obscure seemingly random records. Spotify is mainly based on search and that you know what you are looking for.

    In Wimp you are met with a home page containing new releases, recommended tracks and albums and editorial playlist eg. related to current events like Grammies or festivals.

    If Wimp introduce offline playlists in their Android app i will probably ditch Spotify.

    I think the technology partner Aspiro also want to sell the technology as a white label solution and Telenor is telco with more than 100 million customers so maybe you can try this out yourself in some time.

    • Mike

      Eirik – Wimp has offline playlists as well as offline albums in their latest Android beta.

      • Eirik

        Thanks Mike. I didn’t notice the offline option. This could be bye bye Spotify.

      • Joe

        And when you stop paying for wimp you will lose all your music. Exactly the way it works with all other premium only services. With Spotify you can stop paying, go back to free for a while and then jump on board again with all your playlists still being there.

        There is a reason why Napster is still so small and I’m pretty sure Wimp, for the very same reason, is no threat at all to Spotify.

  • Brian D

    ISPs are just following the Telcos with bundled content offerings.

    Site based media offerings wont compete for much longer.

  • WiMp får internasjonal oppmerksomhet, men navnet skurrer | Teknologia

    […] “Det er flott og alt det der. Men noe der borte bør gå et markedsføring 101-kurs, ettersom tjenesten er kalt WiMp. Ja, jeg kan bare forestille meg å “wimpe” (verb av “wimp”; å være en taper, anm.) i Oslo mens jeg hører på musikk”, skriver TechCrunch EU. […]

  • K Niko

    Telenor is not some local telecom operater, it is actually the sixth largest mobile operater in the world with 172 million suscribers. For Telenor this is a small investment together with death-doomed Platekompaniet which sees this as their last hope with falling record sales.

  • Pixel Circus

    WiMp – reminds me of Windows Media Player :-)

  • Hi


  • Ricmacas

    Spotify. is. down…
    Is this the answer???

  • will

    maybe wimp means something different in norwegian

  • – Some People Just Don’t Get It | Domain names, news and opinions

    […] to TechCrunch, Norwegian tech companies Aspiro and Platekompaniet are launching a music streaming service for […]

  • stikkan

    Same as one above, been a subriber to Spotify Premium over a year now and i have been enjoying it. However after beeing a beta tester for Wimp for quite some time i have to admit that Wimp offers a better selection of music. Been many times i’ve launched Wimp and there it was what i was looking for.

    Problem with Wimp is their choice of Platform, Adobe Air. Feels a bit sluggish and a minor thing like keyboard shortcuts is still not available. (coming perhaps?).

    Wimp can make it. Feels more personal and i do like the premade playlists and album lists. Might ditch Spotify when Wimp goes live. Same price, more content!

  • Thomas Misund

    Platekompaniet isn’t a tech company, it’s a record chain store.

  • seth godan

    no buffering , it mean fast internet streaming

  • led display
  • Dave

    What’s more important with Telenor is not to count the number of subscribers they have in JV’s in Bangladesh or whatever. They are not an innovator by any means in Norway, where they have some of the poorest “broadband” i have experienced. I pay almost $90 a month to them for ADSL speed of about 7 or 8 MB download and theycap the upload at at about 1MB. An I live in central Oslo – that’s the best they are giving me. In 2010. Contrast to the broadband access available in say Stockholm Sweden. Telenor is a stone age telecoms monopolist at heart – and that is where their roots actually are historically.

    In the case of WIMP, what us most releveant is Telenor’s status as a virtual monopolist within the telecoms industry in Norway, where if Telenor is not your ISP, there is proababy a 505 chance that Telenor is instead is probably the actual provider for the reselller whitelabelling an ISP product. They control most of it.

    As for Platekompaniet, yes they are the Norwegian HMV or Tower records. Making money by selling outrageously priced CD’s compared to prices in the US for example prices – but not for much longer. So yeah, they are desperate for an out, and unlike Walmart or amazon they dont have a wide variety of options for the technical portion behind it. If they want to be do this in Norway, it has to be with the monopolist Telenor, who must be cut in on the action or will crush it.

    Once Telenor locks a few shortsighted customers into this, it will suddenly become very proactive in shutting down access to torrents and so on – which previously it has not been. Just you watch….

  • Spotify gets some local competition – but it’s a bit of a WiMP |

    […] View full post on TechCrunch Europe […]

  • football gifts

    Very confusing.

  • danish

    Mate i live in central copenhagen a real city and i have mobile broadban for (yeah you want foreign currency) so i call it 5 Sterling pounds of what the f..k you call it. In central Copenhagen its. 7 MB 1 UPLOAD!!! so Telenor rock rock rock what is faster in Norway Statoil-Tell.. for about the same a 2 cucumbers 30 sterling yeah Norway i Mother F..K..g expensive

  • Spotify competitor WiMP lands on iPhone

    […] It’s a further sign that Spotify may have defined this type of service but that there is nothing stopping others from offering something similar or duplicating it […]

  • Big Fan

    Worst thing about spotify is the amount of choice. Does anyone else feel slightly overwhelmed when choosing some music? Or is it just me?

  • Football Gifts

    Fasinating post – will be interesting to see which one dominates the market.

  • Jason

    I just use Grooveshark when I can’t find something on Spotify.

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