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Spotify officially coming to the US to take on Apple's iTunes

post #1 of 48
Thread Starter 
Popular music streaming service Spotify has officially announced it is coming to the U.S. "soon," but no date has been given for when the service will launch and compete with Apple's iTunes Music Store.

Spotify launched a new page on Wednesday to announce that the service is coming to America. It boasts that users will be able to access "any track, any time, anywhere" for free.

"The award-winning music service that's taken Europe by storm will soon be landing on US shores," the page reads. "Millions of tracks ready to play instantly, on your computer and your phone."

Rumors of a U.S. launch for Spotify have persisted for some time, with the project reportedly in the works since at least May of 2010. Its apparently impending arrival comes after Apple has announced that its free iCloud service will arrive this fall, but not with music streaming as numerous rumors had previously indicated.

Spotify offers cloud-based music streaming with more than 8 million tracks for free with advertising support. For $15 per month, users can access the service with no ads, and download thousands of songs to an iPhone or Android handset for offline use.

There were even rumors last October that Apple was interested in buying Spotify, but the European company denied the rumor and said it had no intention of selling.

Last month, a general manager with Spotify said that the licensing agreements necessary for the service to launch in the U.S. were in the process of wrapping up. Jonathan Forster said that the company had agreed to a "faster monetization strategy" than it would have preferred.



In Europe, Spotify has 10 million active users and 10 million subscribers who pay the subscription fee of 10 Euros per month. The company's new U.S. headquarters is expected to be in New York.

While Apple's iCloud does not have an announced streaming component, one component of it does currently allow users to re-download music they have already purchased from the iTunes Music Store. And later this year, Apple will offer iTunes Match, which will scan a user's iTunes library and match songs with those on Apple's own iTunes servers, allowing them to be downloaded or even replaced with higher quality copies for $24.99 per year.
post #2 of 48
$15 a month for Spotify... or $36 a year for Pandora... I'll have to see what else Spotify brings along.
post #3 of 48
Hmm?

Given that Spotify is a cloud-based peer-to-peer music streaming service that allows listening to any/all available music (not just your individual library) and iTunes is none of those things, it's hardly trying to 'take on iTunes'... It's offering exponentially more.
"Why iPhone"... Hmmm?
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"Why iPhone"... Hmmm?
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post #4 of 48
How exactly does this "take on" iTunes?

They are completely separate business models offering completely difference services.
post #5 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaHarder View Post

It's offering exponentially more.

Those of us who actually like to own their music would disagree with 'exponentially more'
post #6 of 48
Why taking on iTunes? They offers are very different
post #7 of 48
Given their large European subscriber base, it seems natural enough - in the absence of strong competition - they could succeed in the US. Pandora is quite popular and in my circles of friends, enhances/coexists in the same market with iTunes. Who doesn't like commercial free radio to hear the latest? It's just a matter of price. I spend about $100 a year on music on iTunes and for good radio content, $30-50 seems cool. Especially if it makes the hunt for ways to spend my iTunes bux easier. But I don't get the value of $15/month. $180/yr. So I ask the question: What does Spotify compete against in Europe besides iTunes? Is Pandora in Europe?

I have been very interested in an upgraded car stereo experience. Away from the default DVD/radio player with built in Sirius, to an app radio - like offered by Panasonic - where I can access Pandora, my iPod, etc.
post #8 of 48
Unlimited music for $15 a month has been done before, we'll have to see if streaming is the magic component that makes that price point work. It's still more than the average person spends a month to buy music outright.
post #9 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Unlimited music for $15 a month has been done before, we'll have to see if streaming is the magic component that makes that price point work. It's still more than the average person spends a month to buy music outright.

People are only seeing the 15 bucks a month but you also need to consider the data.
post #10 of 48
I do wish that Apple offered iTunes streaming, at least from your own content that you've uploaded to them when iCloud finally launches. If you have multiple devices, why waste precious space on each one, filling it up with a whole bunch of songs?
post #11 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

I do wish that Apple offered iTunes streaming, at least from your own content that you've uploaded to them when iCloud finally launches. If you have multiple devices, why waste precious space on each one, filling it up with a whole bunch of songs?

Give it time - it's a question of licensing.
post #12 of 48
Not a good week for Apple in general with news coming that Android stretches lead over Apple, Facebook links with Skype to compete with FaceTime, and now word that Spotify will be offering services comparable and arguably better than iTunes. Apple will more than likely rebound, but this may be a small step towards the future.
post #13 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdonisSMU View Post

People are only seeing the 15 bucks a month but you also need to consider the data.

Soon the Verizon/ATT duolopoly will be charging $200/mo for basic iPhone plans with data surcharges to cover streaming services like this.
post #14 of 48
I live by Spotify.

You guys are in for a real treat! Let's face it, iTunes isn't great software, it's too big, it's complex, it's disorganised. Spotify is so seamless, desktop to phone and back.

Welcome to the future!
post #15 of 48
Hey, Spotify, meet me at camera 3... Let me give you a hint: It took me all of 12 seconds to find out that 1) Apple has over 200 million iOS devices, and 2) Apple still is really running a break even operation with the music store. Really? Your goal is to compete with "break even?" Plus, to "compete" with Apple, you'd have to be competing for the same money in the same market. That market is the iOS market. Sure you can go for the Android market, and possibly do very well there, but to get into the iOS market, you need an app, which Apple would have to approve, and, if you sell subscriptions, get 30% of your loot. Hard to beat someone when you're in their pocket. Now Apple's got all of its sales and 30% of yours. You're not going to magically catch up to that. So really what you're trying to do is beat everyone else that isn't Apple to achieve greater sales volume or revenue to be "the biggest" online music vendor. Wait, you're model is ads and subscriptions, where Apple's, in the music section, is just straight sales. Hmm...how are you going to compare those "apples" and oranges to determine how the two stack up? Oh well, I don't think Apple cares much anyway since they're raking it in hand over fist selling iPhones, iPods and iPads. What's that? You don't sell hardware? So you're JUST going to do the subscription thing? Well, okay, have fun with that. Best of luck to you.
post #16 of 48
Wow, this sounds a lot like, "An iPad killer is coming soon..."
post #17 of 48
Two things

Who looks @ their phone when listening to music? Me, I've got my phone in my pocket, so how do the advertiser's gain anything with the free version OS Spotify?

When will AT&T and Verison restart offering unlimited data plans and at what price to make streaming music possible without large overcharges when you exceed your data plan?

I see US carriers really really opposed to this.

Anyway good luck Spotify, choice is good.
just waiting to be included in one of Apple's target markets.
Don't get me wrong, I like the flat panel iMac, actually own an iMac, and I like the Mac mini, but...........
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just waiting to be included in one of Apple's target markets.
Don't get me wrong, I like the flat panel iMac, actually own an iMac, and I like the Mac mini, but...........
Reply
post #18 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by beakernx01 View Post

Hey, Spotify, meet me at camera 3... Let me give you a hint: It took me all of 12 seconds to find out that 1) Apple has over 200 million iOS devices, and 2) Apple still is really running a break even operation with the music store. Really? Your goal is to compete with "break even?" Plus, to "compete" with Apple, you'd have to be competing for the same money in the same market. That market is the iOS market. Sure you can go for the Android market, and possibly do very well there, but to get into the iOS market, you need an app, which Apple would have to approve, and, if you sell subscriptions, get 30% of your loot. Hard to beat someone when you're in their pocket. Now Apple's got all of its sales and 30% of yours. You're not going to magically catch up to that. So really what you're trying to do is beat everyone else that isn't Apple to achieve greater sales volume or revenue to be "the biggest" online music vendor. Wait, you're model is ads and subscriptions, where Apple's, in the music section, is just straight sales. Hmm...how are you going to compare those "apples" and oranges to determine how the two stack up? Oh well, I don't think Apple cares much anyway since they're raking it in hand over fist selling iPhones, iPods and iPads. What's that? You don't sell hardware? So you're JUST going to do the subscription thing? Well, okay, have fun with that. Best of luck to you.

Mmmmm, Spotify has had an iOS app for a long time. And no, they doesn't have to pay anything to Apple, they don't do in app purchases.

Why people can't inform a little before writing?
post #19 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by rickag View Post

Two things

Who looks @ their phone when listening to music? Me, I've got my phone in my pocket, so how do the advertiser's gain anything with the free version OS Spotify?

Spotify ads are voice ads, like station ads.

Mobile app only work with paid subscriptions, without ads and you can download song for oflline access
post #20 of 48
Uh...I live in Europe where Spotify is already available and straight up: it is not an iTunes competitor. It's very, very different. And how compelling it is is debatable at best.

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MacBook Pro 15" | Intel Core2 Duo 2.66GHz | 320GB HDD | OS X v10.8
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White iPhone 5 | 64GB | On 3UK

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post #21 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by beakernx01 View Post

Hey, Spotify, meet me at camera 3... Let me give you a hint: It took me all of 12 seconds to find out that 1) Apple has over 200 million iOS devices, and 2) Apple still is really running a break even operation with the music store. Really? Your goal is to compete with "break even?" Plus, to "compete" with Apple, you'd have to be competing for the same money in the same market. That market is the iOS market. Sure you can go for the Android market, and possibly do very well there, but to get into the iOS market, you need an app, which Apple would have to approve, and, if you sell subscriptions, get 30% of your loot. Hard to beat someone when you're in their pocket. Now Apple's got all of its sales and 30% of yours. You're not going to magically catch up to that. So really what you're trying to do is beat everyone else that isn't Apple to achieve greater sales volume or revenue to be "the biggest" online music vendor. Wait, you're model is ads and subscriptions, where Apple's, in the music section, is just straight sales. Hmm...how are you going to compare those "apples" and oranges to determine how the two stack up? Oh well, I don't think Apple cares much anyway since they're raking it in hand over fist selling iPhones, iPods and iPads. What's that? You don't sell hardware? So you're JUST going to do the subscription thing? Well, okay, have fun with that. Best of luck to you.

What world do you live in? Of course there is an app for iPhone. Spotify has been there for years. I use iPhone and Spotify and it is great. $15 is really nothing for accessing all music. Also, music has been synced wirelessly for years through Spotify.
post #22 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

I do wish that Apple offered iTunes streaming, at least from your own content that you've uploaded to them when iCloud finally launches. If you have multiple devices, why waste precious space on each one, filling it up with a whole bunch of songs?

Why stream when you can download/delete on-demand? Isn't it the same amount of data being consumed? Plus, you can listen to it multiple times and only download once.

In iOS 5, I believe you can delete music right on the iPhone.
post #23 of 48
Honestly folk this streaming audio over the internet is just re-inventing the radio or satelite radio on whether you get it free or pay.

Pandora is having problems since they only offer 1 minute of ads per hour of listening and ad companies are not paying them much for ad placement because of this.

This world has turned in to pay fees for everything and people are more than happy to shell out money on this stuff.

So add up how many you pay for TV, Phone, Cell Phone, Internet radio, XM Radio, Internet service for both you home and mobile. Just because you can not live without what music for a little while.
post #24 of 48
That's some hyped-up headline. Get's worse:

"In Europe, Spotify has 10 million active users and 10 million subscribers who pay the subscription fee of 10 Euros per month. The company's new U.S. headquarters is expected to be in New York."

Eh? More like one million subscribers, not 10 million. Guys, do better research or some proper editing.

10 million subscribers paying 10 a month = 100,000,000 a month = 1,200,000,000. My head is spinning...
post #25 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac-Daddy View Post

Not a good week for Apple in general with news coming that Android stretches lead over Apple, Facebook links with Skype to compete with FaceTime, and now word that Spotify will be offering services comparable and arguably better than iTunes. Apple will more than likely rebound, but this may be a small step towards the future.

Oh I'm sure Apple are quaking in their boots.

Android stretches lead - in a 'survey' Lolcats have to add up all the android handsets to beat a single Apple handset.
Skype 'coming' to Facebook, big whoop.
Spotify 'coming' at some undetermined time in the future (oh, and it is fuck all like iTunes, 10 quid a month for a year, 120 quid. You stop subscribing and you have a music library of zilch)

While these things are all 'coming' Apple are swimming in their liquid 70 billion dollars.

As per usual the competition will catch up to where Apple were a year ago they really have to try harder.
post #26 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by zaren View Post

$15 a month for Spotify... or $36 a year for Pandora... I'll have to see what else Spotify brings along.

For one thing, 13 million tracks, vs. 800k for Pandora. Assuming Spotify can launch with the same sort of catalogue they have in Europe.

Also worth noting is that the regular Spotify fee, which gets you what Pandora offers, is only €5/month. The €10 premium service gets you offline access and 384kbps bitrate.
post #27 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaHarder View Post

Hmm?

Given that Spotify is a cloud-based peer-to-peer music streaming service that allows listening to any/all available music (not just your individual library) and iTunes is none of those things, it's hardly trying to 'take on iTunes'... It's offering exponentially more.

Many have tried and failed to dethrone iTunes. You're desperate clinging to yet another contender is typical of Apple haters. Anything as long as it's not Apple.
post #28 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jensonb View Post

Uh...I live in Europe where Spotify is already available and straight up: it is not an iTunes competitor. It's very, very different. And how compelling it is is debatable at best.

What? I literally havent bought a single song on iTunes in the last couple of years, since Spotify came along. Go to the office, everyone is using spotify on their headphones. Go to parties, the sound system is hooked up to Spotify. Its a BETTER music player app than iTunes, (on the desktop, the iOS app maybe not so much, but its improving). It is a huge competitor to iTunes in Europe.
post #29 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdonisSMU View Post

People are only seeing the 15 bucks a month but you also need to consider the data.

That's always something to consider with any data-intense app. I guess it depends on how much data you have left on your plan. If you have a 2GB/mo plan and don't do much else, the basic bit rate will get you 27 hours of Spotify a month over cellular data. Then that can be extended over whatever WiFi connections you can use in between.
post #30 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

I do wish that Apple offered iTunes streaming, at least from your own content that you've uploaded to them when iCloud finally launches. If you have multiple devices, why waste precious space on each one, filling it up with a whole bunch of songs?

How is what you are asking for any different than Apple's soon to be released iTunes Match? Except that iTunes Match is better in that with iTunes Match you will get 256 bit quality regardless of having a lesser quality personal copy.
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." - Leonardo da Vinci

iPhone, iPods (Touch, Nano), iPad, MacBook Pro (13", 15"), Apple TV (2), and lots of AAPL stock.
Former Microsoft employee...
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"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." - Leonardo da Vinci

iPhone, iPods (Touch, Nano), iPad, MacBook Pro (13", 15"), Apple TV (2), and lots of AAPL stock.
Former Microsoft employee...
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post #31 of 48
Serializer you really ought to take a chill pill. It's not Spotify that has squared up to Apple they're just doing their thing and offering what they're offering. The fact that they are operating in a domain that might or might not impact on Apple is no reason to hate them. In a free country you should always be prepared to "Think Different(ly)".
"I'm the biggest Apple fan with almost a full set of Apple devices and part of my use of my Mac is to use Spotify - the free version with an ad maybe every five tracks - it's a great way to compile play lists and listen while I'm online. I would have to subscribe to get the iOS app. working on my iPod Touch and so far I've not been tempted, because my iTunes library is enough for most occasions when I'm offline. My sons, both occasional DJs interested in different genres of music, have signed up and think it's worth the £10:00 to access the service on mobile devices and have tracks playable offline.
Give it a go - it's not like you're joining the Dark Side!
post #32 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkWagner View Post

How is what you are asking for any different than Apple's soon to be released iTunes Match? Except that iTunes Match is better in that with iTunes Match you will get 256 bit quality regardless of having a lesser quality personal copy.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think that iTunes Match is streaming.

To be honest, I don't want every song to be pushed to everything that I own. For some people, the way that iCloud handles music might be right for them, but I'm looking for something slightly different.

I saw that Amazon just introduced unlimited storage of music for $20 a year and that service is streaming and it works on iPad too. If I'm going to use a device to listen to music with, I don't want music taking up any space at all on that device. The download and delete method seems like a hassle.
post #33 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

The download and delete method seems like a hassle.

Until you leave your cellular coverage area, or want to listen to the same song more than once and have to re-stream it each time.
post #34 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by chabig View Post

Until you leave your cellular coverage area, or want to listen to the same song more than once and have to re-stream it each time.

I haven't tried the Amazon streaming service yet, but I did look at it quick, and since I already have 5 Gb for free, maybe I'll test it out later on.

But even if somebody wanted to listen to the same song 10 times in a row, then why would that be problematic if it's streaming? You just hit play and the song starts playing, isn't that the way it works? What difference does it make if somebody streams the same thing 10 times?

Data costs and data plans are of no concern to me, as I'll be using this through Wifi.
post #35 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think that iTunes Match is streaming.

To be honest, I don't want every song to be pushed to everything that I own. For some people, the way that iCloud handles music might be right for them, but I'm looking for something slightly different.

I saw that Amazon just introduced unlimited storage of music for $20 a year and that service is streaming and it works on iPad too. If I'm going to use a device to listen to music with, I don't want music taking up any space at all on that device. The download and delete method seems like a hassle.

You certainly could be right. But I understood that iTunes Match would allow you to stream (this is the part I am unclear about) any music that you either upload or that matches your music library. Admittedly, their iCloud page (http://www.apple.com/icloud/features) is a bit vague on that point. What Apple does state is:

"Any music with a match is automatically added to your iCloud library for you to listen to anytime, on any device."

If it does stream, I will certainly be an iTunes Match subscriber for $25/year. I'll just have to wait and see.
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." - Leonardo da Vinci

iPhone, iPods (Touch, Nano), iPad, MacBook Pro (13", 15"), Apple TV (2), and lots of AAPL stock.
Former Microsoft employee...
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"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." - Leonardo da Vinci

iPhone, iPods (Touch, Nano), iPad, MacBook Pro (13", 15"), Apple TV (2), and lots of AAPL stock.
Former Microsoft employee...
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post #36 of 48
good luck
post #37 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkWagner View Post

You certainly could be right. But I understood that iTunes Match would allow you to stream (this is the part I am unclear about) any music that you either upload or that matches your music library. Admittedly, their iCloud page (http://www.apple.com/icloud/features) is a bit vague on that point. What Apple does state is:

"Any music with a match is automatically added to your iCloud library for you to listen to anytime, on any device."

If it does stream, I will certainly be an iTunes Match subscriber for $25/year. I'll just have to wait and see.

Downloading was mentioned and demonstrated at the WWDC keynote, but streaming was not. Web stories also seem to confirm that it is not a streaming service, at least yet.
post #38 of 48
Woohoo! More competition = reduced pricing = more product ideas for all of us.

On the business level there will be some winners and some losers but for we consumers, this is sweet!
post #39 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by john_l_uk View Post

Serializer you really ought to take a chill pill. It's not Spotify that has squared up to Apple they're just doing their thing and offering what they're offering. The fact that they are operating in a domain that might or might not impact on Apple is no reason to hate them. In a free country you should always be prepared to "Think Different(ly)".
"I'm the biggest Apple fan with almost a full set of Apple devices and part of my use of my Mac is to use Spotify - the free version with an ad maybe every five tracks - it's a great way to compile play lists and listen while I'm online. I would have to subscribe to get the iOS app. working on my iPod Touch and so far I've not been tempted, because my iTunes library is enough for most occasions when I'm offline. My sons, both occasional DJs interested in different genres of music, have signed up and think it's worth the £10:00 to access the service on mobile devices and have tracks playable offline.
Give it a go - it's not like you're joining the Dark Side!

Perhaps your misunderstood me (I was quoting somebody else in my post). I am using Spotify and I love it. According to me, iTunes was built to buy songs and Spotify was built to play and stream songs.

The fact that I can stream when I am in my car or that my Sonos sound system can stream directly from Spotify is awesome!
post #40 of 48
I to, am a bit confused. I haven't purchase any music from anyone now for a long time.

With iTunes radio stations, with RadioShift, with damn near every major radio station in the world offering streaming, with the tons of music on youtube (hell you can listen to some 2 hours of Eagles music for free, not to mention 1 or so of Yes music FREE) and the list goes on, why worry about another company coming along to CHARGE for music?

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