Spotify to hit the US in Q3 this year

The popular music streaming service Spotify plans to finally launch in America in the third quarter of this year, according to an interview between its Senior Vice President, Paul Brown, and Bloomberg. It had originally planned to hit the US in the third or fourth quarter of last year but reportedly ran into further licensing issues.

Although you may not have heard of it yet, Spotify has 7 million users across Europe in the UK, France, Spain, Sweden, Norway and Finland, and provides a legal and free ad-supported music streaming service of nearly 8 million tracks from both major and independent record labels. Simply download the software - which looks unashamedly similar to iTunes - type in what you're looking for, and you're away.

Over 300,000 subscribers currently pay for its premium service, which offers ad-free streaming, the ability to listen on your iPhone, Android phone or Nokia Symbian phone, and cached offline playing - all for around £10 or €10 a month (about $15). Users can also buy a "day pass" of ad-free music for only £0.99 or €0.99, and the service provides links to legal download sites where you can purchase single tracks or albums with Spotify receiving a cut of the profits.

"We’re buying server space in random parts of the states and there are licensing discussions too," Brown told Bloomberg, "But they are going fine because we’re in a long-term partnership with the labels and publishers." It all sounds encouraging that Spotify will finally be ready to hit the big time later this year.

Spotify is also apparently in talks to partner with "unidentified U.S. Internet and mobile-phone service providers" for the launch, and plans to create further mobile applications, this time for BlackBerry and Palm devices. The company's commitment to the mobile platform was reinforced this week with the news of an updated iPhone app coming soon.

So far in Europe, Spotify seems to be helping to reduce music piracy by providing a free and easy way for people to get the music they want, with most users willing to put up with the occasional advertisement interruptions to their music or pay for the ad-free premium service. Either way the music industry and record labels make money (even if it is not as much as from traditional sales it is still better than the nothing they receive from illegal downloads) and hopefully this model can be successfully carried across the pond.

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40 Comments

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bbfc_uk said,
Has anyone got an invite for Spotify they could kindly donate?

I wouldn't mind an invite if someone can. Always heard of Spotify but never took the time to look further when seeing the invite only option.

SK[ said,]

I wouldn't mind an invite if someone can. Always heard of Spotify but never took the time to look further when seeing the invite only option.

PM'd

I've used Slacker Premium because of the great Blackberry app and I've been very happy with it, but have always wanted to try Spotify. I'm looking forward to finally checking it out.

suicide_pact said,
I've used Slacker Premium because of the great Blackberry app and I've been very happy with it, but have always wanted to try Spotify. I'm looking forward to finally checking it out.

Slacker is on my Palm Pre but the subscription isn't even worth it. If I could select what tracks I wanted then I would say different but for the fee for unlimited skips and lyrics. Too much.

PPPFFFFTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT... spotify was something before grooveshark ate it. grooveshark is much better imo

Is Spotify any good? I use Napster at the moment (£5 p/m with 5 free downloads) but like the idea of paying £9.99 and using it on my iPhone?

bbfc_uk said,
Is Spotify any good? I use Napster at the moment (£5 p/m with 5 free downloads) but like the idea of paying £9.99 and using it on my iPhone?

I use it on my Nokia N95, and aside from a few stability issues (which can be attributed to Symbian rather than Spotify), I love it. Makes work much more entertaining when I can listen to so much music through my phone

Majesticmerc said,

I use it on my Nokia N95, and aside from a few stability issues (which can be attributed to Symbian rather than Spotify), I love it. Makes work much more entertaining when I can listen to so much music through my phone

So if i subscribe to Spotify Premium for £10 p/m, I can stream music on my iPhone as part of that?

They have too many ads on the free service now. Seems like after every song. I actually prefer to use grooveshark now.

red. said,
They have too many ads on the free service now. Seems like after every song. I actually prefer to use grooveshark now.

What gets me are the visual ads. They pop up, slide out and just hog your eye's attention. So I don't use Spotify.

If I had the money I'd probably get the premium service, which does look quality.

Harreh said,

What gets me are the visual ads. They pop up, slide out and just hog your eye's attention. So I don't use Spotify.

If I had the money I'd probably get the premium service, which does look quality.


Subscriber here, and besides no ads for as much listening as you wish, which is a dream come true for a fan of music, you also get 192 kbps streaming and mobile phone support. And that is 192 kbps in Ogg Vorbis, which is probably more like 256 kbps with mp3, and is as near lossless quality as I guess you'll get without increasing the bandwidth a ton.

Harreh said,

What gets me are the visual ads. They pop up, slide out and just hog your eye's attention. So I don't use Spotify.

If I had the money I'd probably get the premium service, which does look quality.


Your supposed to listen to the songs not stare at the app....

AdamLC said,
I personally use napster! Half the price and just as good

No iPhone app though

Everything that Napster does though, Spotify does for free (+ £0.79 for each track you wish to keep). You only pay the subscription if you want the mobile and offline access.

I've been a premium subscriber for 2 months now, and I already couldn't live without it. Legit access to millions of tunes from my mobile for only £9.99 a month is awesome by itself, but on top of that I get uninterrupted listening and I can listen to stuff without being connected to the internet.

Loving it, and hopefully you guys the other side of the pond will love it too... Assuming the RIAA doesn't get its way.

I will never touch iTunes again!! Never will I have to waste $7.99 on an album only to realise it's pants and not be able to do anything about it. No longer will I be restricted to the amount of machines I can have my music on. and no longer will my be scattered with a mess of scratched CD's (Spotify mobile + Car with built in Bluetooth FTW!!!)

I wholeheartedly agree. Spotify is easily the best thing since sliced bread, and anybody who steals music these days should be very ashamed of themselves.

I love it. Bar my existing music library, I haven't used anything else except Spotify for music for a few months now. My piracy is cured. Ahem.

Godlike_Ape said,
I love it. Bar my existing music library, I haven't used anything else except Spotify for music for a few months now. My piracy is cured. Ahem.

+1

Godlike_Ape said,
I love it. Bar my existing music library, I haven't used anything else except Spotify for music for a few months now. My piracy is cured. Ahem.

I agree, so it's sad knowing that Spotify is currently making huge losses and is only profiting from companies pouring in money in the company due to a continued long-term trust. Also, some bands are pulling out of the service every now and then. But overall I still think the trend of new music there is positive, including the better known artists.

I hope they'll get a strong following in the US with lots of subscribers, because that is what matters most to Spotify if you want to keep the service healthy financially in the long term.

Bah, this also requires the premium subscription for listening from your phone! I like Grooveshark but it also requires the premium subscription.

Is it just me or is everybody starting to expect everything and nothing?

Even when it cost substantial money for the company to give out the service.

If we (people in general) want good service, good products, innovation we need to get out of the mindset that everything can be free, sometimes adverts just do not cut it.

How do they put adverts onto the mobile phone? Somebody has to pay for it.

It is your choice.

I do subscribe, I get higher quality bit rate, no adverts and I can use it on any computer in the house or away simultaneously.

Edited by stevember, Mar 28 2010, 10:50am : corrections

stevember said,
Is it just me or is everybody starting to expect everything and nothing?

Even when it cost substantial money for the company to give out the service.

If we (people in general) want good service, good products, innovation we need to get out of the mindset that everything can be free, sometimes adverts just do not cut it.

How do they put adverts onto the mobile phone? Somebody has to pay for it.

It is your choice.

I do subscribe, I get higher quality bit rate, no adverts and I can use it on any computer in the house or away simultaneously.


Whilst I agree that we can't expect everything for nothing, I completely disagree with all your other points.

It would be very easy for them to put ads on mobile phones so that argument is ridiculous. And as far as subscribing is concerned, I don't, and I've never had a problem with bit rate. I can also use spotify on any computer I like - that feature is not connected to the premium service. It appears that the only thing the premium service gives you is no adverts and tbh, for £10 a month, I'm not too bothered with listening to a few ads. The visual ones are very un-obtrusive too.