Blog Post

Expectation Grows As Spotify Mulls 'Different' U.S. Launch

As Swedish unlimited music service Spotify rolls toward its planned Q3 or Q4 U.S. launch, many American consumers, who have witnessed its roaring approval in Europe, are on tenterhooks. Some users are trying proxies, some U.S. major-label execs are already testing the service for themselves.

But, just as the hype has brought Spotify some inaccurate coverage in the six European countries in which it’s available so far, so some are getting their knickers in a twist over exactly what form its Stateside incarnation will take…

Witness ReadWriteWeb’s belief that “the company is considering going the “freemium” route for the U.S. market” (for the unintitiated, Spotify’s combo of free with ad support or £9.99 a month for ad-free and mobility – hallmarks of the “freemium” model – is the case in all its territories).

For its part, though, Spotify is planning to slightly adjust tack for its U.S. launch. Community manager Andres Sehr tells WSJ it’s “looking at a slightly different model in the U.S.”. What exactly does that cryptic suggestion mean? Sehr, when we followed up with him, told us: “Not much more to add to that piece. We are looking into launching a slightly different offering in the US but it’s too early to say exactly what that may entail.”

Will Spotify strike different terms with the labels in America? Will it make a bigger play for bundling with ISPs (something it may do in European mobile with 3 by virtue of its Li Ka-Ching investment)? Time will tell.

For now, for those who think this Scandinavian startup can’t compete with the likes of Pandora or Rhapsody, know this – Pandora does not offer on-demand play, and Rhapsody’s free service offers just 25 songs a month, compared with Spotify’s bottomless vault. It’s subscription on which Spotify will compete with Rhapsody.