As I mentioned on our 300th episode, one of the best topics of discussion all year has been following the Spotify saga. As the company picked up a second round of funding late last year, they've been making a couple of remarkable moves. Spotify has taken some of the funding and added new features and started up a new TV marketing campaign, which has given the company enough of a bargaining chip to push for lower rates with the major record labels. Now, Spotify looks to expand beyond Europe and the US, further rivaling Pandora and other music-streaming services.
Spotify said that it is looking to Asia and Latin America in its next round of offerings. On the website this week, they said,
Exciting times! Today we're thrilled to announce that we're bringing a new world of music to eight new countries across the globe... This fantastic step now brings us to 28 markets and closer to our dream of making all the world's music available instantly to everyone, wherever and whenever they want it.
Mexico, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Iceland are all getting to now enjoy the Spotify in their respective companies. The company also updated its user statistics, saying that out of the now 24 million active listeners, six million are currently paying for the service. Spotify also has "driven more than half a billion US dollars to rights holders and expects to drive another half a billion US dollars to rights holders during 2013."
Expanding to new markets and converting customers to their paid tiers are the best ways to get even more strength behind the company to take on the big gun, iTunes. Moreover, it'll force other competitors to adapt and innovate, or in the case of Pandora, go the other direction. As we've said time and time again, having more solid competition in any space only drives benefits to consumers at the end of the day. So, what music-streaming service do you currently use? Shout it out in the comments below.