Spotify Launches in U.S.
COLOGNE, Germany - Heavily-hyped Swedish online music service Spotify has finally launched in the U.S., announcing the fact on its website today. As expected, Spotify is beginning its U.S. launch with an invite-only beta phase, a technique the company has used successfully in Europe to generate press attention ahead of a fully-fledged bow.
According to marketing marterial Spotify is showing to potential U.S. adverstisers, published on the Wall Street Journal's tech blog AllThingsD, the company is projecting 50 million U.S. users in its first year of operation. While that might be sales hype, it does give an idea of the scale of Spotify's ambition.
The company also unveiled the price structure for its U.S. service. Again, as expected, it will be a three-tier model: an advertising-supported free service, an ad-free service for $4.99 a month and an ad-free and mobile service for $9.99 a month. This is again modeled on Spotify's European service, though given the weak U.S. dollar, U.S. users will be getting a significant discount. Spotify's Euro users pay the equivalent of $7 and $14 a month.
Spotify also revealed its most recent subscriber figures, claiming more than 10 million registered users and 1.6 million paying subscribers across the seven European countries in which it operates. According to figures from international recording association the IFPI quoted by Spotify, the Swedish service is now, after iTunes, the second single largest source of digital music revenue for record labels in Europe.