updated 09:35 am EST, Fri January 14, 2011
Spotify close on deals with Sony, more for US
Spotify may finally be closing in on its long delayed US expansion, new sources argued on Friday. It has supposedly secured one music label deal and is just "days away" from a similar deal with Sony. How close it was to deals with the other two major labels wasn't mentioned in the New York Post assertion.
A representative for the unlimited streaming music site said talks were "progressing well" but wouldn't confirm how far along they might be.
The service has remained one of the most popular ways to listen to music in Europe but has faced stiff resistance from labels in the US over fears that it might gut the pay-per-track market. Spotify has a Premium subscription plan for high quality, ad-free songs that in the US could cost $10 per month, but the vast majority of its users rely on the ad-supported free edition.
Labels have supposedly demanded that Spotify devote an extra amount of attention to marketing the Premium plan if it goes live in the US. They have may have called for up front cash advances, possibly as high as $100 million, to offset any potential loss. Apple has purportedly tried to discourage deals with Spotify, although Spotify's CEO Daniel Ek explicitly denied any known involvement.
Informally, many have regarded Spotify as a possible legitimate challenge to iTunes and the first real unlimited service that could prove a viable contender as services like Napster, Rdio and Rhapsody haven't gained much ground. Along with its desktop streaming, it also has direct MP3 buying and support for mobile streaming through apps on Android, iPhone and Symbian.