Spotify, the streaming music service, has now come to the the US after months of rumors that it was coming. It is hugely popular in Europe and one that until now, people could only dream about.
The new streaming music service from Spotify comes in three flavors, Free with millions of tracks that are available, but there are ads included with the music stream, Ultimate at a cost of $4.99 per month, which eliminates the advertising, and Premium, which has added features. With the Premium, there are no ads and you get millions of songs to steam. In addition to that you can use Spotify on your mobile device and the ability to have offline paylists for your use.
It has taken Spotify almost two years to bring the service to the US as they negotiated with record labels to get the deals completed. With that done, it has come to the US this week. Its integration features with Facebook and Twitter for the purposes of sharing your music should make it a very popular music service here. But there is no guarantee that it is going to be a big success. There is already competition in the US that has existed for years and will present a challenge for Spotify.
For free services, Spotify is going to be hard to beat. You get the entire song and not parts of a song which for many will make a difference, even with the advertising that is included with the free package. This is going to make things difficult for the existing streaming music providers as long as there is a free music offering from Spotify.
At the moment, the Spotify free package is only available via an invite which can come from someone who already has Spotify or by request an invite which you can get from Spotify yourself. There is a limit to the free service which is currently being reported as 6 months. After that Spotify will limit the amount of music that you can listen to at a limit of 10 – 20 hours per month though it will be interesting to see exactly how much they limit the music in the US. For Spotify to be profitable, they will need to have a large majority of people paying for the Ultimate or Premium services.
It will be interesting to see how popular Spotify is in a year and how well they are doing.