Spotify issued a brief statement confirming that it will launch in the United States on Thursday. “Spotify, the award-winning digital music service loved by millions of Europeans, will become available tomorrow morning in the United States by invitation and subscription,” it said. “Spotify is a new way to listen to and manage your music, discover new tracks and share songs and playlists with friends — music whenever you want it, wherever you are.”
Further details will be announced at 8:00 a.m. EDT, Spotify promised.
The announcement was the opposite of a surprise. Spotify struck its first U.S. licensing deal in January, with Sony Music, and the service posted a teaser banner last week. The final hurdle was a licensing deal with Warner Music Group, which the New York Times reported was reached today and allowed Spotify to meet its planned U.S. launch date of July 14.
That report also confirmed that Spotify in its newest territory will offer three tiers of service, just as it does elsewhere: an ad-supported free version; an ad-free version for $5 a month; and a premium version which includes mobile access, higher sound quality and other improvements for $10 a month.
Paid subscriptions will go on sale right away, but the free version will be available only by invitation to limit initial user numbers. Additionally, in response to record label demands, users of the free version will be limited to a set number of hours a month. The mobile Spotify supports iOS, Android, Windows Mobile, Palm and Symbian phones, as well as some devices like Sonos.
Unlike its major U.S. competitors – which include Rhapsody, MOG and Rdio – Spotify uses a peer-to-peer architecture that virtually eliminates buffering and latency.
New York Times article: http://tinyurl.com/6arml5e