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Spotify: Watch out Pandora and iTunes, The Swedes are Coming

Written by in Strategy
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Spotify, the widely popular music streaming application, has finally arrived in the U.S. On July 6, Spotify posted a message on their landing page that the music application would be “landing on US shores” soon. A week later on July 14, the application was released in the US. This is probably the most exciting news for music lovers in a long time.

  Spotify is a freemium based streaming music service that is available on your desktop or iPhone, but right now only in Europe. Europe has also recently integrated the application with Facebook. The music app’s popularity rapidly spread in Europe, growing from 2 million users in 2009 to 11 million users in 2011.

  The basic version of Spotify is free, but like the much buzzed about Google+, you need to grab an invite from another user or join a wait-list based on e-mail sign-up. On the American landing page you can already enter your e-mail for an invite. Needless to say many of us here at Digital Surgeons have already jumped on the opportunity and have received invites.

  What Took you so Long Spotify?

  With all of the illegal pirating issues in the U.S. it’s no surprise Spotify was finding it hard to make deals with music labels. Why would the industry allow people to legally listen to music for free? Fortunately, Spotify has successfully made deals with Sony, EMI Music Group, and most recently Universal Music Group, the world’s largest music label. But one major label is still holding out, Warner Music Group.

  Warner Music Group’s hesitation could cause problems for Spotify’s success in the US. Music by artists like Eric Clapton, Green Day, Lynyrd Skynyrd and more will not be available on the live streaming site. Let’s just hope Warner has a change of heart sometime soon.

  Can Spotify Take The Place of iTunes or Pandora?

  Spotify is quite unique in the way you can choose the titles you want to listen to. Then you can also make playlists and share with friends. Free memberships receive ad interruptions and limited streaming time, while premium memberships allow access to millions of titles without ad interruption, with unlimited streaming time and better quality sound.

  There are two subscription choices to choose from. Unlimited is $4.99 per month and includes no advertisements and unlimited streaming. Premium is $9.99 a month and includes no advertisements, unlimited streaming, Spotify mobile and offline mode for playlists.

  Unlike Pandora, where the app chooses songs based on a genre or artist, you have the freedom of choice with Spotify. With this new app you can choose the exact artist and title you want to hear and add it to your playlist. No more guessing what song will play next.

  Unlike iTunes where you pay per song, songs are sent straight to your computer or mobile phone. Playlists are also saved under an account, so you can access your music from any computer. Spotify is also starting to give the option of buying songs, some competition iTunes better watch out for.

  If Spotify can clinch Warner and popularity spreads as it did in Europe, there will definitely be a “New Kid on the Block” ready to “Run This Town”—or country in this case.

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