Spotify, the European music startup which has garnered 10 million users in the last two years, finally launches in the US today.
The packages are: An invite-only free, ad-supported service, a $4.99-per-month ad-free package and a full “premium” experience costing $9.99 which also syncs with mobile.
Unlike the European service it will not be integrated with Facebook initially.
Via a combination of an odd approach to PR, off record briefings and a fairly chatty CEO in the shape of Daniel Ek, Spotify has been threatening to launch in the US since 2009. No matter. Not the rubber hits the road and Spotify will comete with Rhapsody, MOG and Rdio in the US.
Spotify’s approach is to use a very nice desktop client, not unlike iTunes, but which contains much more information about the music – look out iTunes.
Here’s their release, just out:
Hello America. Spotify here.
Spotify, the largest and fastest growing music service of its kind, is available from today in the US. We’re massively excited to be here.
Spotify is a new way to manage your music, discover new tracks and share songs and playlists with your friends. Now you can enjoy music whenever and wherever you like.
More than 10 million Europeans can’t be wrong, surely?
OK, so they are wrong when it comes to spelling ‘favourite’ and ‘doughnut’. But they know a great music service when they see it.
Spotify was launched in Sweden in 2008 by Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon, out of a desire to develop a better, more convenient and legal alternative to music piracy. Spotify is now the second single largest source of digital music revenue for labels in Europe (IFPI, April 2011), making sure that artists get a fair deal.
Spotify has more than 10 million registered users and more than 1.6 million paying subscribers across 7 countries in Europe; the US marks the 8th territory. With a ratio of well over 15% paying subscribers to active free users, Spotify is the largest and fastest growing service of its kind.
One lean, green, music machine
Spotify gives you on-demand access (with no buffering) to a library of more than 15 million songs. What’s more, you can import the MP3s you already own with just one click, to create a mighty music player. And with Spotify, there’s no need to skip tracks you don’t like. Why? Because you choose the music in the first place.
It’s super simple to create and manage all your playlists with Spotify – our users have made and shared over 250 million of them so far. You can also discover the most popular playlists on sites like http://www.sharemyplaylists.com and http://www.bbcify.com, or use clever sites like http://www.spotiseek.com to create playlists of new music based on your favorite artists.
Music is made for sharing. Simply drag and drop music to your Spotify friends, or share with them via Facebook, Twitter, email and SMS. See your friends’ top tracks, artists and playlists via their Spotify profiles, subscribe to their playlists and drop tracks into their Spotify inbox. How very sociable.
Take your music with you by installing Spotify on your cellphone or iPod Touch. Wirelessly sync your MP3 playlists to listen offline and subscribe to Spotify Premium to combine your own music with access to our catalogue of over 15 million tracks. It’s the perfect music player.
The Land of the Free, the Unlimited and the Premium
During our invite-only beta phase, Spotify offers three great services, from absolutely free to paid subscriptions. All of Spotify’s services include the features listed above.
· Spotify Free – the unsurpassed free music service. With an invite, enjoy on-demand, buffer-free access to over 15 million songs on your computer, great social features, manage your own music files through Spotify, and sync with your cellphone or iPod. Features occasional advertising.
· Spotify Unlimited – all the special features of our free service but with uninterrupted, ad-free access to Spotify on your computer. All for only $4.99 a month.
· Spotify Premium – the all-singing, all-dancing, top-of-the-range Spotify experience. Premium gives you access to all the music, all the time. Listen online or offline, on your computer, your cellphone and a whole heap of other devices. Enjoy enhanced sound quality and access to exclusive content, competitions and special offers. Premium costs just $9.99 a month (that’s the equivalent of a few fancy coffees).
Daniel Ek, Founder and CEO of Spotify, said: “We believe that music is the most social thing there is and that’s why we’ve built the best social features into Spotify for easy sharing and the ultimate in music discovery. Even if you aren’t a total music freak, chances are you have a friend who is and whose taste you admire. I’m looking forward to connecting with some of you in Spotify and discovering some cool new tracks.”
Spotify’s US launch is in partnership with some of the biggest and most pioneering brands in the world, who want to help us spread the word of Spotify in the USA. Our exclusive launch partners are Coca-Cola and Sprite, Chevrolet, Motorola, Reebok, Sonos and The Daily. These brands will all be launching innovative campaigns in partnership with Spotify in the coming weeks and months.
Ken Parks, Chief Content Officer and Managing Director of Spotify North America, said: “Spotify was founded as a better, simpler alternative to piracy. So making sure that the people who create the music prosper is hugely important to us. We have full catalogues from all the major labels and a raft of independent labels including those represented by Merlin, which means all of their artists are being fairly compensated for their creativity every time people enjoy music through Spotify.”