Music streaming service Spotify (more convenient than piracy!), long enjoyed in Europe and long longed for in the U.S., may finally finally have its ducks in a row. If a number of interdependent deals come together, the service may soon be available to U.S. users, Facebook Music might finally become a reality, and a new round of venture capital may be injected into the company.
As usual, it all hinges on the music labels.
For years Spotify has promised a U.S. launch that would include a free version of the product like they have in Europe. Promises for a U.S. launch were made almost since Spotify first appeared in 2008. But we had to learn to be patient as a never ending stream of “coming soon” promises failed to become reality.
Still, Americans want to believe. They want to believe so badly that way too many people immediately accepted Paul Carr’s April Fool’s blog post that a U.S. launch was imminent as true. And many Europeans were also duped by the notion that Spotify would have to close down European operations to fund that U.S. launch. Spotify even had to send out a few Tweets to people to make sure they knew it wasn’t true. Good times.
Spotify almost came to the U.S. in early 2010. Google and Spotify were in deep negotiations to launch in the U.S. via Android. Later that year we learned that the companies were also talking about a billion dollar acquisition, but the deal fell through over label deals and a walk away fee.
Spotify is pulling off a hat trick. They have a pending deal with Facebook to finally launch the service in the U.S. And they have a pending venture capital deal with DST and Kleiner Perkins that will value the company at $1 billion or more.
Both of those “pendings” require the successful completion of U.S. music label negotiations. The labels finally agree, it triggers the Facebook deal and the venture capital deal and Spotify will finally fulfill that promise.
For years we’ve heard that those music label deals are coming. “Just a few weeks away,” is something sources have told me more times than I can count. But now, say many sources, it’s really happening. Perhaps even within the next, well, few weeks. And this time, it’s for reals (maybe).
Spotify has created a lightweight software application that allows instant listening to specific tracks or albums with virtually no buffering delay. It was launched in the fall of 2008 and had approximately 10 million users by September 2010. Spotify offers streaming music from major and independent record labels including Sony, EMI, Warner Music Group, and Universal. Users download Spotify and then log onto their service enabling the on-demand streaming of music. Music can be browsed by artist, album, record...