Imagine if you opened up iTunes one day and instead of having to purchase every song you wanted to listen to you could just double click on a track and it would instantly start playing. That’s Spotify. It’s a service that many in Europe have been enjoying since it launched back in October 2008 and our European staff have often teased their American colleagues about how silly and archaic it is to pay for individual tracks or how time consuming and pointless it is to upload your entire music collection to a server just so you can listen to your tracks whenever and wherever you want. This will soon no longer be the case as Spotify has announced that they’ll soon launch in America. After numerous delays, it’s finally happening. Looking at Spotify’s invite request page, they show their mobile application running on an iPhone, and two HTC devices, one running Android, the other running Windows Mobile. That isn’t a typo, Windows Mobile, not Windows Phone.
Pricing information has yet to be unveiled, but here’s how Spotify works on the other side of the pond: you start out with a basic account that lets you listen to just 20 hours of music per month, this is free thanks to advertisements that are sprinkled in; pay 5 Euros per month and you no longer get ads, plus you get to listen to as much music as you want; pay 10 Euros per month and you get to listen to unlimited music at 320 kbps and you can also use Spotify on your mobile phone. Such services already exist in America today, namely Rdio, MOG (which some say is the best), Rhapsody, and Napster, so it’ll be interesting to see how Americans react to Spotify.
For this writer Spotify has completely changed his relationship to music. Piracy doesn’t make sense anymore, and exploring new artists and genres is fun again.