Spotify, launched in Sweden in 2008 by Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon, is available from today in the US.
According to IFPI, Spotify is now the second single largest source of digital music revenue for labels in Europe. It was created out of a desire to develop a better, more convenient and legal alternative to music piracy.
Spotify has more than 10 million registered users and more than 1.6 million paying subscribers across 7 countries in Europe; the US marks the 8th territory.
Ken Parks, Chief Content Officer and Managing Director of Spotify North America, said making sure that the people who create the music prosper is hugely important. "We have full catalogues from all the major labels and a raft of independent labels including those represented by Merlin, which means all of their artists are being fairly compensated for their creativity every time people enjoy music through Spotify," he added.
During its invite-only beta phase, Spotify will offer three services to US customers. Spotify Free features occasional advertising, while the ad-free Spotify Unlimited will cost $4.99 a month. The $9.99 Spotify Premium gives online or offline access to music, on computers, cellphones and other devices. It also offers enhanced sound quality and access to exclusive content, competitions and special offers.
"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," said Daniel Ek, Founder and CEO of Spotify. "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."
Spotify's US launch is in partnership with Coca-Cola and Sprite, Chevrolet, Motorola, Reebok, Sonos and The Daily. These brands will all be launching campaigns in partnership with Spotify in the coming weeks and months. The company already works closely with a number of partners including Sonos, Logitech, Onkyo and Shazam.
The news follows the announcement that AOL's social music app Play for the iPhone is available on the App Store