Spotify’s journey to the U.S. has been highly anticipated almost since the on-demand music-streaming service first launched in its native Europe in October 2008. And with good reason: Spotify is really cool. Now that the service is finally available here, American audiences are getting to see firsthand what all the hype has been about.
But with all the buzz about Spotify, let’s not forget about the great music services that were born in the USA. How do they measure up to the Sweden-bred Spotify, which has amassed more than 10 million users in Europe alone, more than 1 million of whom are paid subscribers?
Here’s a look at a few of the more popular ones:
Headquarters: Beverly Hills, Calif.
What it is: A service that allows users to share and play songs within social-networking sites.
How big is it? ILike says it has more than 60 million registered users. In 2009, the company was acquired by MySpace for a reported $20 million.
Headquarters: Berkeley, Calif.
Founded: June 2005
What it is: An ad-free subscription on-demand music service and an online radio service.
How big is it? MOG does not provide user or subscription figures. What we do know is that MOG has raised $25 million in venture capital and has 11 million songs in its library.
Headquarters: Oakland, Calif.
Founded: January 2000
What it is: A personalized Internet radio service available in a free, ad-supported version and a subscription-based, ad-free version.
How big is it? Pandora has more than 90 million registered users, according to recent regulatory filings. The company collected $137 million in revenue in its most recent fiscal year, and it has a relatively limited library consisting of 800,000 songs. Pandora (s P) is publicly traded on the NYSE and currently has a market cap of $2.8 billion.
Headquarters: Seattle, Wash.
Founded: December 2001
What it is: An on-demand subscription music service, Rhapsody started with a catalog consisting of mostly classical music, but it now spans all genres.
How big is it? Rhapsody has more than 800,000 paying subscribers and more than 12 million songs in its library, according to a recent PaidContent report. The company has not disclosed any revenue figures since it spun out of Real Networks in 2010 with an $18 million initial investment, but it reportedly expects to become profitable this year.
Headquarters: San Diego, Calif.
Founded: 2004; launched March 2007
What it is: An interactive Internet radio service with social-networking features, Slacker recently launched a paid on-demand music-streaming feature as well.
How big is it? Slacker has between 3 million to 5 million users, around 300,000 to 400,000 of whom are paying subscribers, according to a recent report by North County Times. The company has raised $73 million in venture capital and has more than 8 million songs in its library.
This is by no means a comprehensive list but rather a snapshot of a few music services that have been available in the U.S. from day one. If you have any personal favorites, please chime in using the comments.