Euro Online Music Service Spotify Announces U.S. Launch
BERLIN - After more than a year of hype and rumors, popular European streaming music service Spotify has finally announced its U.S. launch.
The Swedish-based operation has just put up a holding page for its U.S. service. Interested users are asked to supply an e-mail address for updates on the impending launch. The site does not provide any details on pricing and partners but Spotify was believed to be close to a licensing deal with Warner Bros. Music, the last of the major labels it did not have an agreement with for the U.S. market. Posting the site suggests Spotify has closed that deal and is gearing up to take on iTunes in the U.S. online music market.
In Europe, Spofity claims more than 10 million users and some 1 million paying subscribers in seven territories for its music service, which offers about 13 million music tracks to stream online. Spotify has used an invite system for previous national launches to generate buzz and its move today suggest it will be using the same strategy in its U.S. bow.
Spotify has been remarkably successful in Europe but in the U.S. the devil may be in the details. In other territories, the company has offered a substantial ad-supported free streaming service to hook users. Earlier reports suggest that in order to secure deals with the major labels, Spotify will cut back substantially on its freemium offering in the U.S.