Spotify to launch in US today

Spotify, the music streaming service, is to launch in the US later today after finalising details with major record labels.

Spotify: delayed US service launched
Spotify: delayed US service launched

Though Spotify founder Daniel Ek first announced plans to launch the service in the US in 2009, it is believed that Spotify had found it difficult to agree commercial terms with the four major US record labels.

Over the past few months it has wrapped up agreements with EMI, Sony and Universal, and was last week reported to be close to a deal with Warner Music.

A spokeswoman for Spotify confirmed the service would be available to people in the US from today but declined to clarify further.

Reports claim Spotify will offer a similar service to the one available to Europeans with a free ad-funded version limited to 10 hours a month after six months or premium paid-for subscription versions.

Spotify has looked to expand its reach through partnership deals and earlier this month confirmed its long-tipped relationship with Virgin Media, which will see Spotify offered as part of bundled deals.

In April, Brand Republic revealed Spotify had begun to assemble a commercial team in the US and that UK country director Jon Mitchell had moved over to the USA to help with the launch.

Though Spotify has been criticised for not generating enough revenue through subscriptions, earlier this year it reached one million paid subscribers and received around $100m of new financing, valuing the company at $1bn.

In the most recently available results, Spotify Limited, part of the Spotify group, generated European ad revenue of £4.5m in 2009, but finished the year with heavy losses and net liabilities of £6.9m.

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