updated 08:35 am EDT, Fri July 30, 2010
Spotify may not launch Euro-like service in US
Spotify has been all but pushed into restarting its US plans from scratch due to label negotiations, more than one tipster claimed today. The company has reportedly been frustrated with a lack of progress and has decided to approach the music labels as though new to see what they would accept. A 2010 launch is still hoped for, Billboard notes, but it's unclear how labels would be taking to the new proposals.
One possibility raised in the rumored talks has been a "framework" service that would offer basic components and fill out as terms are settled over time. Former Napster and Facebook pioneer Sean Parker, now part of the Founders Fund, might become the head of the US division following an unconfirmed investment in February.
The two-year delay in getting Spotify to the US has been considered unusual as labels have contradicted their stances from Europe. Where all four major labels and others have agreed to offer both the ad-based free service and paid subscriptions in Europe, some have objected to the same terms in the US. Warner has been one of the most vocal about objecting to the concept. Universal has said it considers Spotify viable.
Hopes have been raised for Spotify in the US as it would potentially give a source of unlimited music that could appease pirates but still provide legal alternatives and cross-device support. In addition to ad-free paid subscriptions, listeners can buy tracks and listen to the paid service on iPhones, Android smartphones and other mobile devices.