The Stateside launch for Spotify is firming up and could happen in late summer. The music streaming service currently only available in some European countries is in talks with U.S. Internet and cell-phone service providers in this country with a view to being up and running in the third quarter of this year, providing healthy competition for the likes of Pandora, Rhapsody, and even MOG.
"We're buying server space in random parts of the States, and there are licensing discussions too," said Paul Brown, senior VP. "But they're going fine because we're in a long-term partnership with the labels and publishers." Given that Spotify is Universal Music's biggest revenue provider in Sweden, the licensing discussions should be a walkover.
Spotify currently has a two-tier service—a free version, which is funded by advertising, and a pay model, which costs users $14.50 a month for an unlimited, ad-free service—which gives users access to some eight million tracks, allows file and playlist sharing, and unlike any other service, even allows you to cache up to 3,333 tracks for 30 days for playback without wi-fi or mobile signals.
The firm is also discussing the possibility of adding BlackBerry and Palm apps to its existing stable of iPhone, Symbian, and Android.