Spotify Here At Last! - The UpStream

Spotify Here At Last!

posted Saturday Jul 16, 2011 by Nicholas DiMeo

Spotify Here At Last!

Spotify is finally here! After months of covering their hopeful arrival to the US, I can finally rest with ease in a streaming bliss of musical exasperation. However, first I feel the need to recap everyone of where Spotify was and how they got here.

All caught up? Great. The Cliffs Note version of all of that is that Spotify needed to secure the major labels to really make a notable debut in the US and had to round up more paid subscribers in order to make a sustainable impact.

Has all that happened? We'll wrap up the Spotify arrival after the break.

So far, Spotify has 1.6 million paid subscribers out of their 10 million total members who are signed up, and that's from only being available in seven European countries.

Interestingly enough, the one music label that was going to trouble their launch, Warner Music Group, signed up with Spotify just 48 hours before their official US launch. Not to be shaken, co-founder of Spotify Daniel Ek was sure there wouldn't have been a delay after two years of negotiations and that he was confident in the service at launch.

We've made it easier to listen, and we've made it easier for people to share. Hence, people tend to get more into the experience, and they tend to find new music and build larger collections that they want to take with them. And therefore, they also pay more for music.

So what's it going to cost everyone to get in on the action? Spotify has gone with a three-tier plan, just like their business model in Europe. There's a free, ad-supported edition, a basic no-ad option for $4.99 a month and the $9.99 a month premium service that includes better audio quality, access to Spotify on mobile devices and other goodies.

Right now, their free version is only available by invitations, which have been passed around through their Twitter, Facebook or website. If you want to fork out the money and take my word that the service is awesome, though, then you can sign up right away and start the streaming goodness.

For me, the best part of the service is that it really does combine the best of all the popular music services out there right now. Plus, it's a really fast, easy to use interface that takes almost no work to understand how it works. It also doesn't hurt that I can easily load up my personal music collection and truly make it a personalized music player based on what I want to listen to.

With Apple, Google and Amazon having very popular services, can Spotify hold up to the competition? As has been the speculation in the past, it's going to be about getting those paid subscribers signed up and locked into the service through their social media and personal music collection services so they can't, or won't, easily drop Spotify and go to another company.

I'm excited for the Swedish-based company to finally get its feet dry from the long trip across the Atlantic Ocean here to the States. I'm already signed up. Are you, or are you waiting to make the jump? Let us know in the comments!

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