Online subscription-based music provider Spotify readying U.S. launch, threatens iTunes

spotify-foundersSpotify is a relatively new and very comprehensive online music store that is readying it’s launch in the United States.

Apple’s iTunes music store is the largest online music library in the world and has the most users, but with Spotify’s more comprehensive feature list and more affordable pricing, it could just be the first real substitute to contest Apple.

With Spotify, you get more control with your music files compared to iTunes, as the service allows you to copy and listen to your music files on any compatible portable device, including your BlackBerry, iPhone and iPod, Google Android phone, among other portable devices. And it doesn’t stop there; you could also upload music to the cloud and listen to the tracks from any Internet connected computer.

 Additionally, Apple does not offer subscription options, whereas with Spotify, you could opt for unlimited music access for $15 per month, or listen to music free of charge with occasional non-intrusive audio advertisements.

Spotify also allows users to seamlessly share their music with friends on popular social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Delicious. The company says users can share music as easily with a single click to drag and drop tracks to the appropriate sharing list.

Apple previously announced the acquisition of the subscription-based online music service Lala, but subsequently later announced it would close the service.

Despite closing the service, it is possible Apple acquired the company to use the existing base to merge it with iTunes.

Additionally, it is reasonable to expect Apple to also offer monthly subscription-based music soon after Spotify launches in the U.S., despite the firm being reluctant to do so because of lower margins.

The seven-year-old iTunes service remains highly popular, especially in North America. Apple announced last February it had cleared the 10-billionth song download on the service.

The music industry continues to struggle with slumping sales as a record number of people pirate their music from seamless online download sites. In 2007, the ratio of unlicensed tracks downloaded to legal tracks sold was about 20:1 [PDF].

Spotify is based in the U.K., and was founded by Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon in 2006. It currently has 90 employees working at the company.

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Chris is a graduate from the Art’s program at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada. He is very passionate about photography and art. Write to [email protected]
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