July 07, 2011

Spotify In the US: Of Course It'll be Great and Affordable

Spotify's long drawn-out arrival in the United States has been rumored and rerumored over the last two years, drawing fatigue from those both eager to get their hands on the service and those covering the space, some of whom have compared the nascent cloud-based music service to the much-delayed Duke Nukem Forever. In the meantime, US-based services like Rdio have emerged as real competition, alongside music lockers from Amazon and Google, and Apple's iCloud, which dropped last month with a feature set that was somewhat underwhelming to those who had epxected Spotify-like features from Cupertino.

In recent months, more news has trickled out from Spotify in terms of their expanding their US office in New York, and capturing deals with the dinosaur US labels, who haven't shown their innovation or eagerness to adopt their sales strategies in recent years, both cozying up to Apple and then cowering in response to their every move. Yesterday, Spotify in a fairly understated way said yes, their launch in the US was imminent, though no date was given, and now you see people speculating on pricing.

After initially having free access to Spotify starting in late 2009, I converted to a true paid for premium plan early this year, at $9.99 a month, bringing Spotify's huge music library to my desktop and all my mobile devices - made even better with solid integration to my Sonos S5 wireless speakers throughout the house. I do not expect that when Spotify officially launches that I'm going to see any kind of price hike, and I am adamant that this is the best deal going. Theoretically speaking, although I prefer lower prices of course, I would probably pay upwards of $30 a month to get Spotify access, just for the feature set they have today.

Due to the delays around Spotify and much ongoing hype, some from here, those who have been on the outside looking in might be tired of the promise and continue their skepticism until they can download the app and gain access to the service - but what was once a pipe dream looks like its coming very soon and at a great price. So if you're tired of hearing about it, you don't look like you have to wait much longer. It's the #1 reason I almost completely stopped using iTunes.

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