San Francisco – Spotify, the European streaming music
service whose CEO has promised a U.S. launch by the end of 2010, has yet to
sign a licensing deal with any of the four major record labels after more than
a year of talks, CNET News.com reported, citing music industry sources. The
sources told CNET that Spotify and the labels cannot agree on "some basic
financial questions," and that the labels are skeptical of Spotify’s
ability to convert consumers using its free, ad-supported plan to its paid
Spotify currently counts around 500,000 paying
subscribers, and some 10 million total users.
Many industry observers have also
noticed the declining interest labels have in the U.S. towards ad-supported,
free music services; ventures including Imeem, SpiralFrog and Ruckus have shut down.
Meanwhile, the company remains optimistic. "We are in fact
in a good place with our label negotiations. We’re confident in our U.S. launch
later this year," Spotify spokesman Jim Butcher told CNET.
(DMW previous coverage)