Label negotiations will keep Spotify out of the U.S. for what's left of 2010, according to an interview conducted by Mark Sullivan of PC World. While at the Wall Street Journal's Dive Into Mobile event, Spotify founder and CEO Daniel Ek said that his company "can't commit" to a 2010 launch.
Spotify is a streaming, ad-supported music service that is enjoying enormous popularity in Europe. Customers can choose from three tiers of service: the free, ad-supported Open tier that lets you play files locally; the £4.99 per month unlimited streaming tier with no ads; or the £9.99 per month plan, offering offline mode and mobile support. Spotify currently boasts more than 10 million tracks available for streaming and 750,000 paying subscribers.
Why the delay? Ek took the diplomatic route. "[the labels] are still trying to get their heads around the space," he said. "They are seeing what we are seeing, with mobile and social. They want to make sure that if this is going to move on to be the next thing they want make sure they are setting the right precedents with free models, ad models, subscription models."
This makes me wonder how Rdio is able to offer essentially the same service -- streaming music for a fee -- in the U.S. and Canada. Sullivan notes that Spotify is enjoying royalties deals in Europe that will be hard to duplicate in the U.S.
Here's hoping it gets worked out soon, if only to stop my friends across the pond from bragging about how awesome it is.