Spotify U.S. Launch Imminent, Raises $100m Round

Spotify is finally (almost) ready to launch in the U.S., closing deals with three of the four big music labels -- Warner Music, predictably, is the lone holdout -- and a massive funding round, raising $100 million at a $1 billion valuation.

Spotify is a freemium music service, offering both free and paid subscription offerings, similar to Pandora. Spotify lets users listen to whatever songs they wish, in whatever order they wish, rather than building "channels" of like music on Pandora.

spotify
Spotify has a significant presence in Europe, with more than 1 million paid subscribers and 6 million ad-supported free users. In the US, it may face a more uphill climb with heavy new competition from from Google, Amazon, and Apple, plus there are existing music services from Rhapsody and the aforementioned Pandora. In fact, Apple has been rumored to have made efforts to prevent Spotify from being able to launch in the U.S.

Spotify plans to charge around $10 per month for its premium service, and allows users to stream millions of songs they don't own.

The company, founded in Sweden but based in London, raised $100 million from Digital Sky Technologies, Accel and Kleiner Perkins, all heavy hitters in the venture game. DST is a major investor in Facebook, which might help the two companies to make a deal. Spotify and Facebook are working on a "significant integration" according to All Things D's Peter Kafka, though that isn't tied to the U.S. launch. Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg is a known Spotify fan.

Spotify has a decent war-chest, plus proven success and buzz from its European operations. If it can ink a deal with Warner, it might actually, finally, launch on this side of the pond.

Popular Stories

iOS 18 Siri Integrated Feature

Report: These 10 New AI Features Are Coming in iOS 18

Sunday May 26, 2024 12:57 pm PDT by
iOS 18 and macOS 15 will offer an array of new AI features such as auto-generated emojis, suggested replies to emails and messages, and more, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reports. A significant portion of Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) is expected to focus on AI features. Writing his latest "Power On" newsletter, Gurman explained that Apple's AI strategy emphasizes providing...
airpods pro 2 pink

Apple Releases New AirPods Pro 2 Firmware

Tuesday May 28, 2024 11:46 am PDT by
Apple today released new firmware update for both the Lightning and USB-C versions of the AirPods Pro 2. The new firmware is version 6F7, up from the 6B34 firmware released in November. Apple does not provide details on what features might be included in the refreshed firmware beyond "bug fixes and other improvements," so it is unclear what's new in the update. Apple does not give...
new best buy blue

Best Buy's Memorial Day Sale Has Record Low Prices on iPads, MacBooks, and Much More

Friday May 24, 2024 7:12 am PDT by
Best Buy today kicked off its Memorial Day weekend sale, and it has some of the best prices we've tracked in weeks on iPads and MacBooks. Specifically, you'll find record low prices on the 5th generation iPad Air, iPad mini 6, M2 MacBook Air, and M3 MacBook Pro. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Best Buy. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment,...
iOS 18 WWDC 24 Feature 2

Gurman: iOS 18 Will Allow Users to Recolor App Icons and Place Them Anywhere

Sunday May 26, 2024 12:22 pm PDT by
Apple's iOS 18 update will introduce new features for further customizing the iPhone's home screen, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. In the latest edition of his "Power On" newsletter, Gurman claimed that Apple will allow users to change the color of app icons in iOS 18. For example, "you can make all your social icons blue or finance-related ones green." This kind of home screen...
iPad Pro Landscape Apple Logo Feature

Apple Says Future iPads Could Feature Landscape Apple Logo

Monday May 27, 2024 6:31 am PDT by
French website Numerama interviewed three senior Apple employees about the new iPad Pro models that launched earlier this month. While the discussion did not reveal many new details, it did mention one potential change for future iPads. While the Apple logo on the back of iPads is positioned so that it appears upright in vertical orientation, the devices are often used in landscape...

Top Rated Comments

bgmesh3 Avatar
169 months ago
Hmmm... $25 for iTunes match, or $10 for Spotify...... For once, I might not go the Apple route.

"Apple has been rumored to have made efforts to prevent Spotify from being able to launch in the U.S."... Wow so Apple's just being Apple. I get it now.

Uh, and by that you mean $25 for iTunes Match, or $120 for Spotify, right? $10 is per month.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
arn Avatar
169 months ago
Hmmm... $25 for iTunes match, or $10 for Spotify...... For once, I might not go the Apple route.

"Apple has been rumored to have made efforts to prevent Spotify from being able to launch in the U.S."... Wow so Apple's just being Apple. I get it now.

$25/year vs $10/month :)

But they are very different services.

arn
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheJing Avatar
169 months ago
I've used Spotify for years now because I'm in Sweden during the summers and it is AMAZING. Give it a try. You won't be disappointed.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AAPLaday Avatar
169 months ago
Dell competes with Apple, HP competes with Apple. Microsoft competes with Apple. Netflix competes with Apple.

Every digital company competes with Apple now days. I want to hear MacRumors, not rumors from their competitors.

Spotify as an app is available for both the mac and the iOS app store. If you don't want to read the article then you don't have to.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
LoganT Avatar
169 months ago
What has this "rumor" to do with Mac? This isn't MediaRumors or AudioRumors. Its MacRumors. Spotify isn't a Mac-Only app. It doesn't even have an iPad version. Apple has nothing to do with the company. So why it on the front page?

Can't understand why this story is still getting free advertisement all over. There are other music services out there.

It competes with iTunes, which is made by Apple.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bpaluzzi Avatar
169 months ago
I'm not a fan of Spotify. I've had a Premium subscription for the last month and still isn't doing it for me.

No gapless playback


What do you mean gapless playback? I've never had any issues with buffering or time between tracks.


Compressed audio only (MP3, OGG, AAC etc... is not real sound, it is a toy)
Give me a break. It's 320kbps. You can't hear a difference.


160kbps streaming only to the iPhone, which sounds dreadful
Again, give me a break.


Can't be streamed around the house
Except to anything with Airplay, or a Sonos. What else are you looking for?


Bad content discovery system (in comparison to say, a good record store)
Are you really saying that an app doesn't compare to a record store? Really? Wow.


Artists don't get paid, simple as.
False.



I'm a sound engineer, and having recorded quite a few artists who have appeared on both iTunes and Spotify, I know the damage Spotify does to their income. Using CD Baby, your music appears on Spotify after it appears on iTunes, and every time, iTunes income drops significantly when listeners switch over to Spotify. The income for musicians from Spotify is insignificant, verging on non-existant.

I'm an artist, and I know that if you have stuff that people actually listen to, you get a decent supplemental income from Spotify. Artists don't make money from recordings these days, regardless of the medium. You used to tour in order to sell more albums. Now you record albums to enable touring.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)