Spotify Arrives on U.S. Shores

 

As predicted, the
streaming service is here and aims to revolutionize American consumers’ music
listening habits.

 

By Fred Mills

 

For the past year or so we’ve watched with interest the
progress – at times, only incremental, but progress just the same – of Swedish-based
music-streaming service Spotify in coming to America. Finally, back in March,
the company signaled it was readying a U.S. launch in the wake of getting all
the licensing details taken care of. Sure enough, as we tweeted a few days ago,
the launch was set for June 14.

 

As Mashable.com reports, as of today you can sign up for
either  the normal unlimited service –
which, at only $4.99 per month, is half the cost of what a regular subscription
to Rhapsody would be – or the premium + mobile service ($9.99, same as
Rhapsody). Of course, part of Spotify’s appeal has also been its FREE option:
as Mashable points out, that version “limits listening
somewhat
and will roll out to users
via invites
in the next few weeks.” (Earlier this week potential users were
able to preemptively submit their emails in order to be in line for those much-desired
invites.) The fact that the service plans to be integrated with Facebook
underscores the company’s intentions to become the leading streaming service
worldwide – if not, eventually, the ONLY streaming service. Rhapsody, watch
your back
.

 

 

 

If you’re familiar with the Rhapsody model, it’s a
no-brainer, since the prospect of over 15 million songs at your fingertips is
more than just a little appealing. The main differences between the three
options:

 

*Free Spotify is a limited version that is ad-supported

 

*Unlimited does not include ads

 

*Premium (no ads also) has better sound quality, “exclusive
content” and can be accessed on multiple devices

 

All three feature easy-to-use playlist and sharing features,
plus search (of course). Based on the brief trial run we took a few months ago,
it gets the Blurt seal of approval so far and we are already in the process of
signing up.

 

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