July 14, 2011
It’s finally here. Spotify, the music streaming service that proved extremely popular in Europe, has finally jumped the pond. For those interested in checking the service out, we’ve got these initial tips and other information about the service available beginning today. What is Spotify? Launched in Sweden in 2008, Spotify was developed by Daniel Ek and Martin Loretzon, out of the desire to develop a better and more convenient way to listen to music. Since then, the service had expanded to six additional countries, with a total membership base of 10 million registered users and more than 1.6 million paying subscribers. However, Spotify’s move to America is certainly the company’s biggest gamble yet, given the size of the market. According to Ek, Founder and CEO of Spotify: “We believe that music is the most social thing there is and that’s why we’ve built the best social features into Spotify for easy sharing and the ultimate in music discovery. Even if you aren’t a total music freak, chances are you have a friend who is and whose taste you admire. I’m looking forward to connecting with some of you in Spotify and discovering some cool new tracks.” The Service Itself Spotify offers on-demand access (with no buffering) to a library of more than 15 million songs. What’s more, you can import the MP3s you already own with just one click, to create a mighty music player. In addition, Spotify allows for the creation and management of playlists. You can discover the most popular playlists on sites like http://sharemyplaylists.com and http://www.bbcfy.com. Really enjoy a song and want to share it with others? Simply drag and drop music to your Spotify friends, or share them with Facebook, Twitter, email and SMS. The Packages U.S. subscribers have a choice of three different packages. These include Spotify Free, which provides online access to all of the songs available on your computer, including social features, the ability to manage your own music files through Spotify, plus the opportunity to sync with your iDevice. Spotify Free, which is supported by the occasional ad, is currently available to U.S consumers who request and receive a free invite. Simply visit http://spotify.com to get started. To begin using the service right now, select from one of the two premium plans. Spotify Unlimited, priced at $4.99 per month, is the same as the freebie version except without the ads. Because Spotify Free requires an invitation this is probably the best plan to choose if you really want to begin using the service today. Finally, there is Spotify Premium, which allows you to listen to music online or offline, on your computer, iDevice or other devices. In addition, Premium members can expect enhanced sound quality and access to exclusive content, competitions, and special offers. Spotify Premium is $9.99 per month. Summary Will Spotify be a success here in the U.S.? That remains to be seen, especially giving the competition it faces, both from Apple and other service providers. Regardless, it is definitely worth checking out. Our advice is to spend $4.99 to tryout the service for a month rather than wait for one of those elusive freebie invitations. In the meantime, watch for our Spotify roundup later today. What do you think? Leave your comments below.