The rumors are true; Spotify has come to the States! The steady growth and launch into the U.S. market shows the increasing demand for a more musically interconnected, sharing-based culture. And that’s exactly what Spotify aims to achieve, giving U.S. music fanatics the chance to discover, play and share a variety of musical genres all in one place.
As of today, Spotify has launched with three different levels of service – a free, but limited service, and two paid-for services. The free service is available by submitting a request to get an invitation, and gives users access to more than 15 million songs, social sharing features, playlists, as well as the ability to sync accounts with smartphones or iPods. The $4.99 version, Spotify Unlimited, is basically the same, but without advertisements, and the $9.99 version, Spotify Premium, includes offline listening mode, better sound quality and special content.
Spotify’s primary features include:
- Playlists: Allows easy playlist creation with drag and drop functionality
- Sharing music: Makes it simple to share tracks and play-lists with friends in just one-click
- Search: Gives search access to music all over the world
- Mobile music: Allows users to play any track from their mobile device live over the internet, or from playlists that can be listened to offline
- Offline mode: Provides access to music, even when there’s no Internet connection
- Your Spotify Library: Offers users a clever, simple way to organize music
Originally launched in Sweden in 2008, Spotify has an enormous presence across seven countries in Europe with more than 10 million registered users and over 1.6 million paying subscribers. But, will the music subscription service be able to generate the same kind of following in the U.S.?
Some believe that the U.S. market will be difficult for Spotify to crack due to subscription services that have already existed here for a long time, such as Rhapsody, Napster and, of course, Apple’s iTunes. But, despite heavy competition from these other well-established services in the U.S., piracy still remains one of the biggest threats to music subscription services.
However, according to Giles Cottle, Principal Analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media, there’s still hope for Spotify since U.S. subscribers seem more willing to pay for content than other countries. And, with more than 23 million subscribers to Netflix and over half of Microsoft’s Xbox Live subscribers coming from the U.S., he may just be right.
Whether subscriptions and usage take off in the States or not, the social media chatter is certainly spreading like wild fire. Twitter streams are switching over quickly from tweets on Google+ to Spotify. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have the help of some celebrity tweets too: