Streaming music service Spotify today fueled the long-running speculation about its U.S. launch by posting a request for anyone interested in receiving an invitation to enter their email address.
No dates, pricing or other details were offered. The company simply posted a huge banner that promised: “The award-winning music service that’s taken Europe by storm will soon be landing on US shores. Millions of tracks ready to play instantly, on your computer and your phone. Any track, any time, anywhere. And it’s free!”
Rumors about Spotify’s North American expansion have been circulating since the service announced in March 2009, less than a year after its October 2008 launch, that it had acquired 1 million users. More recently, on March 8, the company blogged that it now had 1 million paid subscribers in addition to the approximately 10 million using its free, ad-supported version.
Spotify has achieved cult status in the U.S. despite being legally available only in its native Sweden, Norway, Finland, the U.K., France, Spain and the Netherlands. Its expansion plans have been hampered by its lack of the relevant licenses, a point the Los Angeles Times made when it noted that Spotify still did not have an agreement with Warner Music Group. Universal Music Group, EMI Group and Sony Music Entertainment have reached agreements in place.
In countries where it already operates, Spotify offers two levels of paid service. Unlimited streaming costs £4.99 (about $8) a month, while adding mobile access, improved sound quality, some offline capabilities and other features costs £9.99 (about $16) a month.
Spotify’s banner: http://tinyurl.com/67tvg6z
Los Angeles Times article: http://tinyurl.com/5u6342v