Today, Spotify launches in the U.S. and will attempt a European invasion unforeseen since a band of four gents from Liverpool came to New York in the 1960s.
The company's streaming service comes in three tiers: free, unlimited and premium. The biggest difference between the three is free comes with ads the other two don't. Premium has more features than unlimited. Having tried out premium, it's easy to see why the service has grabbed millions of consumers in Europe. It's easy to use, has a ton of music and is very convenient (you can use it offline and online for instance). It makes discovering new music easier than any service I've personally ever tried.
Having said that, Spotify has a tall task in trying to infiltrate an established digital music market in the U.S. In terms of other cloud style, streaming services, there's Rhapsody, Pandora and a host of others. Plus, there's also a whole segment of the population that only associates one word with digital music: iTunes. Fair or not, even though iTunes and Spotify offer different services technically, there's a lot of people that only use iTunes.
How will the Swedish based company try and reach its reported goal of 50 million U.S. users within the year? Spotify chief executive Daniel Ek gave a few hints to users in a blog he posted today. Essentially, Spotify is going to team up with established American brands to get the Spotify name out there.
We're launching in partnership with some of the biggest and most pioneering brands in the world, who all want to help us spread the good word of Spotify. Our exclusive launch partners are Coca-Cola and Sprite, Chevrolet, Motorola, Reebok, Sonos and The Daily. These brands will be launching innovative campaigns in partnership with Spotify in the coming weeks and months, Ek said.
Motorola and Spotify have launched a significant partnership where the mobile phone and tablet manufacturer will significantly promote the music service. Motorola consumers will get early access to Spotify's on-demand music streaming service.
The collaboration between Motorola and Spotify is the ultimate way to deliver the compelling music choices users are looking for on their mobile device, Bill Ogle, chief marketing officer at Motorola Mobility said in a statement. As an exclusive launch partner of Spotify, we are able to provide our consumers not only with innovative products, but also premium access to an unparalleled music experience.
The most important partnership for Spotify will probably be with Facebook. The company wants the social aspects of Spotify to be the service's selling point. It has integrated Facebook into Spotify letting users share their playlists and song choices.
We believe that music is the most social thing there is and that's why we've built the best social features into Spotify for easy sharing and the ultimate in music discovery. Even if you aren't a total music freak, chances are you have a friend who is and whose taste you admire. I'm looking forward to connecting with some of you guys in the US through Spotify and discovering some cool new tracks, Ek said.
For now, Spotify is using an invite only process. To request an invite, go here. Spotify hasn't said when it will open up the service to everyone.
Follow Gabriel Perna on Twitter at @GabrielSPerna