Rumors have been flying for a while now that Spotify would launch in the US, and today I’m pleased to say those rumors came true. For those that don’t know, Spotify is an incredibly popular music streaming service in Europe (over 10 million European users). According to them:
“Spotify gives you 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. And with Spotify, there’s no need to skip tracks you don’t like. Why? Because you choose the music in the first place.
It’s super simple to create and manage all your playlists with Spotify — our users have made and shared over 250 million of them so far. You can also discover the most popular playlists on sites like www.sharemyplaylists.com and www.bbcify.com, or use clever sites like www.spotiseek.com to create playlists of new music based on your favorite artists.”
If this sounds good to you (and I can’t see why it wouldn’t), there are three plans to choose from before you can start Spotify-ing. There’s a free plan that allows for ad-supported streaming on a computer. However, if you’re willing to pay a couple bucks, the features become a bit more robust. For $4.99 a month, you get unlimited streaming music to your computer, ad-free. And for $9.99, you get unlimited streaming to your computer and mobile phone, offline mode for playlists, and no ads.
Currently the service is in invitation-only beta, so if you want the free version you’ll have to find someone to invite you, or register your email for an invitation on the Spotify website. Though, if you chooses to go with one of the paid models, your account will be activated right away.
I don’t know about you, but I think this all sounds pretty great. I hadn’t really known much (anything) about Spotify before this announcement, but I’m certainly glad it’s here now. Though, when reading through the description, I couldn’t shake the sense that I’d read it before.
An internet-based music service that allows you to upload your own tracks for use anywhere, available on mobile (iOS) devices, wirelessly sync MP3 playlists… if I’m not mistaken, I’d say it sounds an awful lot like iCloud’s music service. Yes, there are differences between the two (iCloud doesn’t stream music that isn’t yours), but the basis on which they were created – cloud-based music to take with you everywhere – is essentially the same.
It will be very interesting to see how Apple and iCloud are affected by Spotify here in the US, and how they deal with it. I was surprised to see that the Spotify app is already live and available for download in the App Store, but I’m sure if Apple could have found a reason to reject the app, it would have. If your thinking about picking this app up, it’s free in the App Store but requires a Premium Spotify account to use (kind of like Hulu Plus).
So, Spotify is here. I’m certainly excited about it, what about you guys? Do you plan to sign up for this, or would you rather stick with the Apple-branded iCloud music service? Or maybe online music just isn’t your thing. In any event, share your opinions in the comments section below, or on twitter.