Spotify launches in U.S. today

A digital music service for which Europeans have gone nutso launches in the U.S. today, after a couple of years of promises and waiting.

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“If Apple’s iTunes ushered in digital music’s first phase as a large-scale business, then Spotify and other services like it could be its future,” writes Ben Sisario on the New York Times.

Rather than selling individual tracks to be downloaded, subscription services sell monthly access to vast catalogs of music, with whatever songs a listener wants to hear streamed directly to his computer or mobile phone.

Spotify will be offered in the same three-tier plan that it has in Europe: a free, ad-supported version; a basic ad-free version for $5 a month; and a premium service for $10 a month that adds access on a mobile phone, higher audio quality and other perks.

Spotify will be available first to U.S. customers who got themselves on a waiting list beforehand.

Spotify is the best music service of its kind, says the lifehacker site.

Will Spotify be able to duplicate its European success? Probably not — the marketplace is more crowded with like services than when it launched across the pond in 2008. But I will be trying it for sure.

  • Paul

    How is this different from Rhapsody? I’ve subscribed to Rhapsody for 10 years and have been extremely satisfied for $10/month. Maybe my taste in music is too mainstream, but I would say only about 1% of the music I try to find on Rhapsody isn’t there.

  • matt

    I know we are all supposed to be living in the cloud now but streaming music still seems to be a limitation. I need to own it so I can take it with me and have it at all times. Streaming doesn’t work so well on a 50 mile bike ride, skiing or camping. $5-10 a month covers a fair amount of new music that can be kept forever (computer gods willing).

    And in the end we all have 20 albums that make up 80% of our listening.