updated 01:05 pm EDT, Wed July 6, 2011
Spotify says real US launch coming soon
Spotify after years of promises confirmed through a sign-up page on Wednesday that its service would be coming to the US "soon." While still shy on details, the music service is now taking e-mail addresses for invitations. The company claims "any track, any time, anywhere" for "free," although it's presumed it will have the same recently limited free service as in Europe.
Most expect Spotify to take its service live in the US sometime this month. It may cost $10 per month for full Premium access with unlimited streaming and access to the Android, iOS, and eventually Windows Phone apps. A launch may come hand-in-hand with Facebook integration.
The service is one of the most popular music providers of any kind in Europe but has faced obstacles getting to the US despite expectations of an American release as far back as 2009. Much of the holdup has been pinned on label demands. Among the pushes have been for a much higher conversion rate of free users to paid and possibly up-front cash advances.
A US release faces much stiffer competition than when Spotify went live in Europe. While few have a mix of free and paid service like Spotify, on-demand listening is already available through Rdio, Slacker, and a number of others with similar prices. Even pay-per-track services like iTunes are also negating some of Spotify's play-anywhere advantages with components like iTunes in the Cloud and iTunes Match, while Google Music and Amazon Cloud Player provide their own access to a remote catalog.