Spotify launches State side after European Success
European music streaming service Spotify could take customers away from Apple’s iTunes as it launches in the US at long last.
Spotify launches in US, Apple may be worried
Friday, July 15 2011 by Kate Billinghurst
Apple’s high website ranking may not be enough to contend with a rival in the US digital music market. Spotify, which allows users to stream tracks for free via the web, has officially launched in the US after successfully gaining over ten million customers in Europe.
Spotify started in Sweden in 2008 with the aim of developing a better, more convenient and legal alternative to music piracy. Spotify is now the second single largest source of digital music revenue for labels in Europe. Out of its ten million registered users, more than 1.6 million are paying subscribers across seven countries in Europe.
The launch in the US had been delayed as Spotify was keen to preserve its free service as a means to gain new customers. It is the successful conversion rate – around 15 per cent – of free users to paying subscribers that helps make the company successful.
This success rate has soared recently. After taking two years to reach one million fully-paid members, Spotify has added another 600,000 in just three months after tightening up on the amount of free music available.
Spotify has three options. First is the free service, which gives access to over 15 million tracks. This is interspersed with advertising. Spotify Unlimited does away with the advertising, while the Premium service also allows users to listen offline as well.
Part of the success of the site has been to incorporate ever more important social elements. “We believe that music is the most social thing there is and that’s why we’ve built the best social features into Spotify for easy sharing and the ultimate in music discovery,” explained Daniel Ek, founder and chief executive officer of Spotify.
“Even if you aren’t a total music freak, chances are you have a friend who is and whose taste you admire.”
Geeky Gadgets notes that the playlist sharing feature makes discovering music a very simple and social process. “There is also the Facebook integration which means you can share your favourite tracks with your Facbook friends,” the site explains.
“Apple should be worried about Spotify, it is the first real iTunes competitor that actually does a better job of delivering music to your computer and smartphone than Apple does.”
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