By Patrick Avenell

Spotify launched in Australia today, with Facebook account holders able to stream music on their desktop or mobile device from a catalogue of “more than 16 million songs”, according to the release.

There are three choices for users:

Free – supported by “occasional advertising”.
Unlimited – $6.99 per month for ad-free computer access.
Premium – $11.99 per month for ad-free access on computers, tablets and smartphones.

We asked Spotify to identify five reasons why it’s the best music streaming service currently available in Australia. Here are its responses:

  • We are the only music streaming service in Australia to offer a truly free service. No trials, no gimmicks — just full and total access to the entire 16 million song catalogue on your desktop.
  • We have an unsurpassed music catalogue. We've worked extremely hard to ensure that we have not only all the majors on board at launch, but a super strong indie catalogue too — Dew Process, Modular, Eleven, Infectious, Ivy League, Create/Control — we want Spotify to be the place to discover new music.
  • Because of our size and reach, we offer up and coming artists a hugely powerful platform to get their music discovered.
  • The app platform: 29 apps in Australia and counting (including Triple J), taking music discovery to a whole new level
  • It’s a desktop rather than web based application, and it is a hybrid model, streaming music centrally from our giant servers as well as incorporating peer-to-peer technology, which allows music to be played instantly as if it was stored directly onto your mobile device or computer. Instant on demand music with no buffering.

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We also asked established player Rdio to provide five reasons why it was the best. Instead of doing this, it sent us this prepared statement from CEO Drew Larner:

“The arrival of competitors in the market gives validity to the concept of music streaming in Australia. This is an extremely exciting time for the digital music industry and justifies what we are looking to do. More importantly, it is an exciting time for people that love music.

“We are confident that what Rdio provides music fans is better than anything else available. Rdio has been built from the ground up to provide a simple, fun, and engaging way to discover new music through friends and family, as well as influencers like recording artists and bloggers.

“Further, we’ve only recently launched new Rdio, making it faster, simpler, more social and the best way to discover and listen to music. We believe the Rdio design, user interface and quality of support across all platforms are key points of difference for us in this market and around the world.”