Spotify, the music service that Europeans have had access to for years, while we Americans have only heard about how awesome it supposedly is, has finally come to the U.S.
The service has over 10 million users in Europe. It was originally launched in Sweden by Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon as "a better, more convenient and legal alternative to music piracy." The company claims that it is now the second single largest source of digital music revenue for record labels in Europe.
It comes in three packages: Free, Unlimited, and Premium. Free is on an invitation-only basis at this point, but comes with on-demand, buffer-free access to over 15 million songs. It has ads. The Unlimited option costs $4.99 a month, but is ad free on the computer. Premium is $9.99 a month, and all music can be listened to online or offline on a computer, phone, and various other devices. It also comes with enhanced sound quality and access to exclusive content, competitions, and special offers.
Here are the key features as run down by the company:
- 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 www.sharemyplaylists.com and www.bbcify.com, or use clever sites like 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.
"We’re launching in partnership with some of the biggest and most pioneering brands in the world, who all want to help us spread the good word of Spotify," says Ek on the company blog. "Our exclusive launch partners are Coca-Cola and Sprite, Chevrolet, Motorola, Reebok and Sonos. These brands will be launching innovative campaigns in partnership with Spotify in the coming weeks and months."
"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," he added. "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 guys in the US through Spotify and discovering some cool new tracks."
The power of imagination makes us infinite.
According to Spotify, over 1.6 million people are paying to subscribe to the service in 7 countries. The U.S. is the eighth country to get it. There are over 15% paying subscribers to active free users.