For ages, Spotify was mainly limited to Swedish, then European consumers thanks to complex music rights issues—these issues also plagued Apple, which, while king of the digital music game, lacks an on-demand streaming "radio" system like Spotify's. But Spotify's entry to the U.S. market has since been spectacularly successful, including a close partnership with Facebook that has influenced Facebook's recent news feed redesign. The company's video ambitions are only rumors for now but may be significant: It already has partnerships with the music-publishing divisions of some movie firms. It also has the advantage of not being owned by Apple, Amazon, or Google—the three companies that are shaking up digital content the most. (Two of these are also said to be toying with streaming music.) And in early 2012 Spotify's growth rate was far faster than online video firm Netflix.
Could Spotify be the left-flank entry to the online video game that really changes things?
[Image: Flickr user mager]