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Spotify is launching in Germany within the next two weeks, according to a report by German tech blog Netzwertig.com. The streaming service has been gearing up for a launch in the country for a while, and most recently hired a local PR representative. But with Germany, Spotify is entering a market that has proven to be challenging for some.
Netzwertig was told by multiple sources that Spotify’s launch in Germany will happen within two weeks, with one person pointing to 03/13 as a likely launch date. The blog wasn’t able to get a confirmation from the company. However, there are other signs pointing to a timely launch as well: the company already has an office in Berlin, and it recently hired Groupon’s former German PR manager to run public relations for the German-language market.
Germany hasn’t exactly been an easy market for digital music ventures; YouTube(s GOOG) has yet to come to an agreement with rights holders over royalties for ad-supported video streams, and Grooveshark recently left the country because of what it called “unreasonably high” licensing costs.
Still, there are some competitors already active in the country. U.S.-based Rhapsody recently acquired Napster’s German music subscription service, and local Spotify competitor Simfy launched in May 2010. Simfy CEO Gerrit Schumann dismissed some of the criticism made by Grooveshark in a recent conversation with local media, calling Germany’s performance royalty rates “acceptable.”