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Spotify Planning Late Summer U.S. Launch

LONDON (Hypebot) – Spotify is reportedly planning a US launch of its free music streaming service for later this summer. Think of Spotify as a free ad supported Rhapsody Unlimited – search for an artists, song or album, click on it and its start playing. You can also build and store playlists; so that if you turn on shuffle, after awhile it feels like a Pandora station with only your favorites or the iTunes collection you wish you could afford.

I've used Spotify for months and it's addictive. In fact, their library of 5 million songs and iTunes like interface has attracted more than 2 million users in the UK and another 4 million across Europe. There are online and in-stream ads, of course. But there's also a paid ad free service. The company also wants to let you take you playlists with you anywhere you want. An Android app is in beta and an iPhone app is being tested.

Microsoft & Other Big Questions –

Despite their EU success, a US launch does mean that Spotify will thrive in the US or even continue to thrive elsewhere.

  • A Microsoft UK exec let it slip last week that the computer giant is readying its own Spotify-like service, in part to bolster its Zune eco-system. Microsoft is tough and deep pocketed competitors.

  • The deals that Spotify cuts in the US will could make or break the service; and labels in need of revenue will by nature want to charge a premium.

  • If the economy doesn't turn around; neither will the ad market; and so far Spotify relies mostly on ads for revenue. "If you look at the market today, who knows where it's going to be in the next two, three years?" Spotify founder Daniel Ek told Forbes. "We are doubling our revenues month-on-month–that’s a very good sign."