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Revealed: Spotify’s US launch dates, price plans

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Updated. The buzz around European music streaming service Spotify’s United States launch just keeps getting louder.

A report published Friday on the Noisecast tech blog places Spotify’s US launch date between July 5 and July 15, citing an email exchange between a Noisecast source and major record label executive. The emails also “suggest that Spotify may launch as an invite-only service to start with” and that the subscription price will be $10 per month, Noisecast reports.

Whether or not it’s totally accurate, the report certainly lines up with other recent talk around Spotify’s stateside debut. Earlier this week, Om Malik reported that Spotify will be a major part of a new music dashboard feature Facebook plans to release at its f8 developer conference in August. And Spotify executive Jonathan Forster recently told Silicon Valley Watcher that Spotify’s US launch is on the way, but would not occur before July 5.

Meanwhile, Spotify has been getting its financial house in order for the US push. Last week the company closed on approximately $100 million in fresh funding to fuel its geographic expansion. The latest round came from a group that included Russian venture capital firm DST and California-based VCs Kleiner Perkins and Accel Partners, all first-time Spotify investors.

Why is Spotify so hotly anticipated in the United States? For one thing, with a Spotify account, you can listen to the same library of music regardless of where you are and which of your devices you’re using. It’s the same cloud-based mentality behind some of the latest big offerings from Google (s GOOG) (with Google Music), Apple (s AAPL) (with iCloud) and Netflix (s NFLX) (with Netflix streaming.) In many ways, Spotify fits right into the increasingly always-connected way many of us live now.

Update: Spotify’s US launch is indeed on track for mid-July — not July 5, as some other sources have claimed — according to a source with knowledge of the company’s plans. That confirms the rumors first published Friday morning that Spotify’s US launch will occur in July.

Spotify will be made available in the US under a three-tiered pricing model, the source said: A free ad-supported service, a $5/month subscription, and a $10/month subscription. The US pricing scheme will be very similar to the three-tiered revenue model Spotify already has in place in Europe.

The company does not have a more specific launch date nailed down at the moment, because Spotify is still sorting out a few kinks associated with the US debut, the source said.

9 Responses to “Revealed: Spotify’s US launch dates, price plans”

  1. Why would you compare Google Music, iCloud to Spotify (and Netflix). You are mixing up cloud models. As noted in the comments, Spotify is similar to Rhapsody (or

    There comes a tipping point where people give up valuing music they already paid for as the excuse for continuing to pay by the song (which is an insane model)…at that point, streaming services that do a good job mixing in your downloaded music will take over and over time you’ll stop caring and find it annoying that you have to continue to file manage downloaded music.

    Streaming music — like Netflix with streaming movies — WILL win eventually.

  2. Lots of little things make it special. Tracks starting playing back instantly, and I mean < 1 sec. Offline mode for mobile. A streaming mobile implementation that actually works (looking at you Rhapsody). Good music discoverability. A fast responsive desktop app. A very large catalog. It just works.

  3. Is just me or is really the Spotify catalogue not that good (Sweden)? I got Unlimited some weeks ago (as Free/Open is just trial really now) and have finally added my whole music collection. It’s practically 50/50. ~1000 songs from Spotify and ~1000 I had to add to local files. It feels kinda pointless.

    • It’s very popular in Silicon Valley circles because they made it so a few years ago. Effectively, this is Rhapsody/Mog/Rdio/Slacker. It’s actually not a special service at all, although the free ad-supported thing was unique for some time. It’s been so nerfed it’s basically nothing more than a teaser at this point.

    • All major labels have a stake in Spotify as well – which is interesting. The service has only been premium for the mobile client and/or commercial free. THey have recently put limits on data amount and playcounts/month on the free and medium subscription. They were also early out with FB integration so no surprise that they would be FB’s service of choice for a music dashboard.

    • Bart Garbiak

      It works as intented. Sometimes that’s the toughest thing to do, usually it’s enough to stand out.
      Also – except if you’re able to listen to any “noise in the background” – the ability to listen to any music at any time dramatically improves the quality of your everyday life. Personally, I can’t imagine myself going back to CDs, mp3s, iTunes, etc. and if I sometimes have to (becaue no all the tracks are available on Spotify) – the experience is so painful it actually affects my reception of music, in a bad way.

  4. The buzz in Europe was the size of the catalogue and the (until recently) fact that the service was entirely free. Any significant inroads are now severely hampered by the fact that $120 a year is a long way from free. Even so at that price it’s going to provide amazing value if you listen to music while you work and want to listen to all those albums you never purchased.

    Let’s just see if the selection is as broad as in Europe. Here’s hoping.