San Francisco – European streaming music service Spotify is
"closer than ever" to signing licensing agreements with the four
major record labels that are necessary to launch its service in the U.S., after
the company started offering "big money advances" to the labels, CNET reported, citing sources.

Spotify has maintained that it plans to
launch in the U.S. before the end of the year, but has been stymied by lengthy
negotiations with the labels.

CNET sources say some label executives no longer
have faith in ad-supported online services that offer "free" music to
consumers, and are skeptical of Spotify’s ability to convert subscribers of its
free service to a premium tier, and thus are seeking money upfront to mitigate


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