This telephone has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication - Western Union memo, 1876
ONLINE MUSIC SERVICE, and tempting rival to the single song download alternatives, Spotify has finally reached US shores, having pulled in some ten million European users already.
The service is available from today and is offered in three versions, two paid for numbers and a free option, which seems to be the most popular.
In a rather insulting press release, probably targeted at US journalists, the firm said, "More than 10 million Europeans can't be wrong, surely? OK, so they are wrong when it comes to spelling 'favourite' and 'doughnut'. But they know a great music service when they see it."
Whether Spotify is great or not depends on how you like to consume your music. According to Spotify it has ten million registered users and 1.6 million, or around 15 per cent, paying subscribers.
The service is currently on an invite only beta, and anyone that manages to get in will be asked to choose from three options, a free one, which "Features occasional advertising", a $4.99 option that does not, and a $9.99 option that definitely does not and has enhanced sound quality and exclusive content and competitions.
"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," said Daniel Ek, founder and CEO of Spotify.
"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 in Spotify and discovering some cool new tracks."
The chief content officer and managing director of Spotify North America had a more sobering statement to make, however, and used the opportunity to remind us all of the dangers of 'piracy'.
"Spotify was founded as a better, simpler alternative to piracy. So making sure that the people who create the music prosper is hugely important to us", said Ken Parks, Spotify CCO.
"We have full catalogues from all the major labels and a raft of independent labels including those represented by Merlin, which means all of their artists are being fairly compensated for their creativity every time people enjoy music through Spotify." µ
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