Many saw it coming, but it’s not any less impressive because of that: Spotify has officially launched in the US.
Of course, an American launch had been rumored from day one. But that was all it was – only a rumor. A streaming service like Spotify was not something record companies in America would welcome with arms wide open. And they never did, actually. What made yesterday’s launch possible was that Spotify slowly began limiting the access users have to music for free, and also signing agreements with all major American record companies restricting what can be streamed, and at which rate.
Spotify had to acquiesce for the simple reason that (notwithstanding its popularity) the company has been running on a loss almost from the beginning. Only 10 % of its estimated 10 million users are paid subscribers. Launching in the States is the only way to attain long-term sustainability.
The company aims to amass no less than 50 million users in the space of 1 year.
Spotify has a 15 million-strong music library (bigger than Pandora, MOG and Rdio to name three direct competitors), and unlike Pandora and Rdio it enables users to add these locally-stored tracks they own to their online collections.
What do you think? Will that be enough to make the European startup thrive on American soil? Or is it arriving too late for its own good to America? Are you signing up for it?