Spotify has finally jumped into the US online music market, a move it has been gearing up to make for a while now.
The Stateside website is now live, and Americans can subscribe to an Unlimited or Premium account for $4.99 or $9.99 per month respectively.
Or they can sign up for an invite to the free service by entering their email into a request box. Spotify is calling this initial phase an “invite-only beta” (it’s either that, or a great way of harvesting a massive stack of email addresses).
Spotify Free offers on-demand and gratis access to the streaming service’s library of 15 million songs, supported by occasional advertising.
Although the free service isn’t what it used to be, and ironically that might be due to the move into the American market.
Back in April, Spotify cut its free service from 20 hours of listening per month to 10 hours, but more importantly it introduced a listening limit of five plays of any specific track. That means if you love a song, you’ll only be able to listen to it five times (ever, not just per month).
The whisper was these more draconian listening measures were introduced due to arm twisting from the big US record companies Spotify needed to ink agreements with to be able to launch this American venture.
We presume the free service in the US will be the same as it is in Europe now. Spotify’s launch partners in the States include Coca-Cola, Chevrolet, Motorola, Reebok and Sonos, with a big marketing push planned.
Whether Spotify can make it in the US with competition from the likes of well-established domestic music services such as Pandora and Rhapsody remains to be seen.