After more than two years of anticipation, subscription music service Spotify launches in the U.S. on July 14.And based on an early report by Peter Kafka, it will have one feature that will absolutely blow every other subscription music service away: you can listen to 20 hours a month for free, with a few ads thrown in.
That’s more than the service now offers in Europe — there, Spotify recently cut it back from 20 to 10 hours.
The real goal is to get users to sign up for the paid tier at $10 per month (for full ad-free mobile access) or $5 a month (for Web-only).
It will be fascinating to see how Spotify survives with all that free music — because of the way music licensing works in the U.S., Spotify will have to pay a higher rate (the rate that subscription services pay) even for the free songs. Unlike online radio services like Pandora, which pay a much lower statutory rate.
But whatever — Spotify is like a unicorn. We’ve been waiting forever and now it’s here.
So where can you get it?
Well, you can’t quite yet. Right now, it’s by invitation only so you have to enter an email address. They’ll send you an invite code.
Stay tuned — as soon as we get our invite we’ll be posting all the details.
Photo: Tom Warren (by permission)