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“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!”
——Spotify announcement
SPOTIFY REACHES OUT TO POTENTIAL U.S. USERS
Swedish Outfit Hoping it Has the Subscription to the Resurrection of the American Music Biz
The wait is nearly over for the launch of Spotify’s much-ballyhooed and long-delayed subscription service in the U.S. The Swedish company released a teaser on its landing page Wednesday inviting all interested individuals to enter their email addresses. Here’s a link to the page.

“The award-winning music service that’s taken Europe by storm will soon be landing on US shores,” reads the announcement. Millions of tracks ready to play instantly, on your computer and your phone.” And here’s the kicker: “Any track, any time, anywhere. And it’s free!”

Though Spotify has been trumpeting its stateside launch for more than a year now, it’s surprising that the company would make an official announcement without locking down a licensing deal with Warner Music—strongly suggesting that a deal with WMG already is in place, though nothing has been confirmed by either company. The service, founded by Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon, has come to terms with the rest of the Big Four.

As Alex Pham notes in the L.A. Times’ coverage of the story, Spotify's entry into the U.S. has been much anticipated, largely because the service is so popular in Europe. The company claims 10 million registered users, including 1 million subscribers who pay a monthly fee for its premium service.

Its popularity partly stems from its easy-to-use interface, which lets people sample millions of songs from their mobile phones or on their computers. Some would argue, however, that Spotify's success with consumers is also due to its generous free offerings, with lets users listen to the ad-supported service for free, albeit with some limitations.

Spotify has not said whether it will offer the same level of free access to consumers in the U.S., and some recent news reports have speculated that there will be a limit to the number of times a user can play any given song as a concession to the labels.

Yesterday’s news would seem to confirm a June 24 Noisecast report that the U.S. service would launch between July 5 and July 15 and might start out as an invite-only service, citing an email exchange with a major exec. “This shouldn’t come as too big of a surprise, since Spotify has used the invite-only model in Europe before,” the story pointed out. “It would also jive with American record labels’ typical reluctance to embrace new mediums of distribution. A soft opening on an invite-only basis would be just the kind of toe-in-the-water adjustment period one might expect from the labels. The emails also confirm the price we’ve been hearing bandied about: $10/month. So what does the Netflix-esque subscription cost net you? Our source says for $10/month you’ll “never have to buy music again” and be able to ‘try everything.’ All in all, sounds just like the European version.”

In related news, Spotify has reportedly entered into an exclusive partnership with Virgin Media in the U.K., whereby Virgin Media customers will have the option of adding Spotify to their TV, Internet and mobile plans.

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