At 8:00 AM EST on Thursday, Spotify, a Stockholm-based streaming music service officially launched in the United States.
Spotify, based in Sweden, launched in Europe in 2008 and has over 10 million users.
About 1 million of those users have access the service via the paid subscription tiers. Spotify gives its users access to listen to 15 million music tracks.
Currently, in invitation-only beta, American users can submit their email addresses to participate in the beta of the free service, or simply jump right in and start using the Spotify Premium or Unlimited service today by paying $4.99 or $9.99 a month for access.
Spotify uses a TCP peer-to-peer (i.e. non-Web-based) network for music streaming on demand. According to the unofficial Spotify blog Pansentient.com, only 8.8% of music that users access is actually coming from Spotify’s servers. 35.8% of the music comes from the peer to peer network, and 55.4% comes from local caches.
Often compared to Pandora, Rhapsody, and MOG, Spotify lets users listen to 20 hours of music per month for free. The service’s catalog has more than 15 million tracks available, and users can listen to a single track up to five times per month.
All of Spotify’s services include the features listed above.
- Spotify Free – the unsurpassed free music service. With an invite, enjoy on-demand, buffer-free access to over 15 million songs on your computer, great social features, manage your own music files through Spotify, and sync with your cellphone or iPod. Features occasional advertising.
- Spotify Unlimited – all the special features of our free service but with uninterrupted, ad-free access to Spotify on your computer. All for only $4.99 a month.
- Spotify Premium – the all-singing, all-dancing, top-of-the-range Spotify experience. Premium gives you access to all the music, all the time. Listen online or offline, on your computer, your cellphone and a whole heap of other devices. Enjoy enhanced sound quality and access to exclusive content, competitions and special offers. Premium costs just $9.99 a month (that’s the equivalent of a few fancy coffees).
The Spotify app is now live in the iTunes App Store, and stream millions of tracks from thousands of albums and artists to your iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad.
- Wirelessly sync your local files to your phone
- Create and sync playlists
- Receive music from friends via the inbox
- Star your favorite tracks
- Scrobble tracks to Last.fm
Here is the Hello America launch video:
Here are the introductory slides of Spotify: