updated 04:50 pm EDT, Fri July 22, 2011
Spotify uptake in US growing fast
Three music industry executives leaked out Friday that the US Spotify launch had gotten off to a fast start. The streaming music service already had 70,000 Premium, $10 monthly subscribers as of its first week, Bill Werde said outside of his usual Billboard position. It's unknown if the data is discounting those who got limited-run Premium accounts.
CEO Daniel Ek wouldn't confirm data, saying it was too early, but did believe the launch "exceeded our expectations."
The growth would still make it the fastest-growing paid streaming music service in the US. Services like MOG and Rdio, despite their publicity, have yet to reach 100,000 active subscribers. Cricket has reached the figure with its Muve music service but has the advantage of directly promoting to its own cellphone subscribers.
Spotify has been helped both by its European reputation and by its current invite-only system for the free, ad-supported accounts. An early expansion could still make it a major competitor in the US and one of the few truly successful streaming services in the country. Rhapsody, the current known subscription leader, only just recently reached 800,000 subscribers after several years. Pay-per-track services still dominate the US, where iTunes is about two thirds of digital music and Amazon MP3 is a distant second.