Spotify: At Last, Europe’s Popular Music Streaming Service Is Coming to America
Looks like American music fans will finally get a taste of one of Europe's most popular streaming music services. Financial news website Bloomberg.com reported that Spotify, a free music service with 7 million users, will reach the United States in the third quarter of 2010.
Of course, this isn't the first time Spotify has been rumored to be crossing the Atlantic to join the American Intertubes. According to Wired, Spotify has announced that it will release a U.S. version of their software twice before, failing to deliver both times.
Spotify allows ad-supported streaming of its entire library of music tracks. Users may play any track among the at least 3.8 million in the library (the latest official number is from August of 2009), at any time their computer is connected to the internet; Spotify also recently gave users the ability to play their own music libraries through the program. Users may also purchase a monthly subscription for €9.99 to get rid of ads and allow songs to be saved on their computer for offline use. It’s unclear which of these services will make it into the American version of Spotify; the high cost of streaming music has caused some to speculate that a free version of Spotify will not exist in the United States.
While Europeans citizens and tech bloggers alike have pronounced themselves smitten with the service, it has some drawbacks—you can't take your music with you unless you sign up for the Premium version of Spotify, which allows you to download an application to your phone and save songs for offline listening. In addition, the service has been criticized for paying small royalties to artists—a Norwegian label revealed (warning: poorly translated Norwegian) that it earned a grand total of $3 after its songs had been streamed 55,000 times through Spotify.