“We expect that Spotify will launch in the United States in the next few months.” Sound familiar? How about, “We are confident that Spotify will launch by the end of the year”? Whether it’s a Daniel Ek keynote speech at South by Southwest or some other Spotify spokesperson speaking to the press, the promise of certain arrival of Spotify in the U.S. has been regurgitated again and again, with few results, much to the chagrin of techies and music lovers in the United States.
For over three years now, U.S. music consumers and fans have been left to salivate while over 16 million European users have been freely enjoying one of the greatest music apps on the planet. As each year passes, devotees in the U.S. silently wonder, “will this be the year that Spotify finally comes to America?” Well, as it is shaping up, 2011 might finally be that year.
It seems that Spotify has turned a significant corner in their quest to land on American soil. Not only have they successfully raised $100 million in additional venture capital this year, but they have now secured licensing deals from two of the four major labels. It’s being reported that Sony and EMI have now both inked agreements with Spotify, leaving only WMG and Universal to follow suit. Reuters reported last week that a deal with Universal is now being hammered out and that an agreement may be soon to follow, leaving Warner Music Group as the lone wild card in the equation.
This progress has not been lost on Spotify, as Billboard is reporting that they are now in the process of building up a staff team in the U.S., hiring a VP of engineering, as well as leadership in product management. Competitors like Rhapsody seem to be taking the prospect of a 2011 U.S. launch more seriously also, as they are going to start offering free 60-day trials of their on-demand service in partnership with MTV.
For those of us in the U.S. who have had a taste of Spotify through backdoors, invites, promo codes, and/or borrowed British postal codes, the arrival of the long awaited celestial jukebox couldn’t come fast enough.