European music streaming service Spotify will launch in the United States on Thursday.
Individuals who signed up for an invitation on the site when the company announced it was coming to the U.S. last week will be able to access the site. Others can sign up for one of the site’s subscription services.
Spotify had been successful providing cloud-based streaming music in Europe but will face competition from larger companies working on music streaming projects once it enters the U.S. market. Google jumped into the streaming music space with Google Music, which lets Google users upload their music to remote servers and stream it to any device for free. Apple is expected to come out with its own music streaming service after purchasing music streaming service Lala.
Pandora, which offers a similar streaming-music service, recently raised $235 million in its initial public offering. In addition, Rdio, Last.fm and a number of other services provide streaming-music services in the U.S. Their growth has been helped in part by the fact that Spotify has been well-known but unavailable in this country.
Spotify offers a couple of subscription options and a free version with ads. Its unlimited subscription costs €4.99 (around $7.22) a month, and its premium service, which lets customers access music on their mobile devices, costs €9.99 (around $14.46) a month.
Users can listen to music by searching for artists, albums, titles, record labels and genres. The service features music from most major record labels. In May, the service was only available in Finland, France, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and Denmark.
Spotify is based in Sweden and has 10 million users around the world (1 million of whom are paying subscribers). The company has raised $120 million and is valued at around $1 billion. It recently finished raising a big round of financing from Russia’s DST, the investment company that has backed Facebook, Groupon and Zynga.
VentureBeat has contacted Spotify for more details.
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