Spotify, the popular European digital music service, has announced that it will officially launch in the United States in the near future. Though it was hardly a secret that the Swedish company was looking to start up in the U.S. market, it is surprising that they would make an official announcement without locking down a deal with Warner Music Group.
As of now, Warner is the only major label group to not sign a licensing agreement with Spotify, which provides streaming access to millions of songs. The Warner Music catalog includes hundreds of high profile artists including Led Zeppelin, R.E.M., Green Day, Eric Clapton and Madonna. Though the service could launch without a deal in place, the absence of key acts could leave a bad impression on new users and damage early word of mouth.
Photos: Random Notes
So far, Spotify has not revealed the details of its subscription service. In Europe, users pay for unlimited access, or can listen to ad supported version for free with some limitations. Given that announcement of the U.S. service on the Spotify site says that "it's free!," it seems likely that some variations of the ad supported model will be emphasized when the service launches later this year.