Spotify is set to officially launch to US audiences in the late Summer. Up until now, Spotify's American fans have either had to use foreign proxy servers to access the service or they've simply gone without. The service is currently available in the UK, Sweden, Norway, Spain, France and Finland. Despite only being available in a select few countries, Spotify already has more than 5 million users and is often mentioned as a competitor to Grooveshark and Imeem.US audiences are in for a listening treat. It turns out that Swedish on-demand streaming music service
By working with labels to negotiate music licensing and revenue models, the company hopes to provide audiophiles with one of the largest legal streaming music services to date. European deals with major labels including Universal, Sony, Warner and EMI have helped solidify this mission, and with 5 million current files, the company is well on its way. As with most streaming music services, much of Spotify's success in the US will depend on their ability to solidify US licensing deals and monetize via a premium ad-free service.
According to Forbes journalist, Javier Espinoza, "Another looming threat [to Spotify]: Microsoft is launching a very similar music streaming service later in July, a service that also allows users to download the music, something Spotify still won't allow members to do." Nevertheless, the question is, will Microsoft be able to provide cross-format support and separate itself from its lackluster music devices in order to build a site that consumers will enjoy? If it can't, Spotify will have nothing to worry about.
Besides, in late June, Spotify co-founder Daniel Ek made the following statement to the Register, " We're working on a one-click download solution with 7Digital, press buy, press OK and you buy a recording. My hope is to get it out in the next couple of months."
Demonstrated at Google's late May I/O conference, Spotify's Android already caches music for easy offline play. An iPhone app version is already reportedly in the works.
If you can play all of your favorite music from your cached play list, how important is it for the average user to have the access to the original file? Below is a look at the current Android app, let us know your listening habits in the comments below.