Report: Spotify Nabs Universal For U.S. Launch
Spotify has completed a licensing deal with Universal Music Group for the U.S. according AllThingsDigital. The streaming music service, already popular in Europe, already has deals in place with EMI and Sony. That leaves only Warner Music Group standing in the way of a U.S. launch, with muiple sources suggesting that a deal is close there as well.
If Warner signs on soon, a Spotify launch could come this summer - well in advance of Apple's iTunes Music Match launch in the fall. Spotify in the U.S. is widely expected to operate under a freemium model much as it does in Europe - a limited free music service alongside a paid premium service with mobile and offline caching for $9.95 per month. Integration inside Facebook is also expected at or near launch.
I've had a Spotify press account for well over an year and tried a number of U.S. and oversees competitors. While not strong on new music discovery, I have always been impressed by Spotify's simple interface, speed and overall ease of use.