updated 05:30 pm EDT, Thu April 28, 2011
Spotify said to launch a premium movie service
Spotify, the web-based music service, is nearly ready to launch a movie-streaming service, according to TechCrunch. Deals have been negotiated with a number of major movie studios, said a source, with Universal likely among them. The best guess the source of this news has for a launch date for the service is this fall.
Unlike Netflix and similar services, Spotify's service will offer much earlier access to movies, the source maintained, with timing more inline with that of premium on-demand movies offered in hotels. The deals made are also likely to be for global distribution rights, so the service would be offered in many countries worldwide.
Spotify has been rampantly successful in Europe for music but has had trouble getting into the US, with deals getting close only in recent weeks. Movies may be easier for the company since it won't have had the resistance from studios that it has faced from music labels.
The access could give it a major advantage over other per-title download services like iTunes or Vudu. Many of these are locked to the timing of the DVD release cycle and then often only for purchases at first.