Spotify announced on Monday that it will hold a press conference on November 30th in New York City during which the company’s CEO Daniel Ek, and “special guests,” will discuss “what’s next” for the company. It’s entirely unclear what the event might cover, given the service only recently launched this summer in the United States. It is possible the Spotify will announce an iPad application, although that might be too minor an event to warrant a press conference. Perhaps the company will introduce a music store to go head-to-head with iTunes and Google Music, but we haven’t heard any rumors suggesting that might be a possibility.
Google recently sent out invitations to an event on November 16th, during which the company will make a “special announcement.” The invite’s tagline says: “These go to eleven,” a famous quote from the popular comedy This is Spinal Tap that takes you behind the scenes of a rock band. The quote suggests Google’s event will have some sort of music focus, however Google also sent along an image of a T-Mobile logo spray painted on a building, so perhaps we’ll hear about a new phone instead. We’ll keep you updated with all of the details when the event kicks off at 5:00 p.m. EST on November 16th. Hit the jump for a teaser image provided by Google. More →
During an event in New York City on Monday, Microsoft announced that the popular music service Spotify will launch for Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango) devices sometime during the day. Spotify allows users to stream free ad-supported music from a computer, but access to the service from mobile devices requires a $9.99 monthly subscription option. The monthly fee also gets rid of ads and allows users to store playlists on a mobile device for offline playback. Spotify is already available on Android and iOS, and the service has been very successful in the U.S. since launching this past July.
Spotify now has more than 250,000 subscribers in the United States, Reuters reported recently. The service also now has more than 2 million paid subscribers around the globe. The figures have not yet been confirmed by Spotify, but Reuters said CEO Daniel Ek disclosed the numbers in September. Spotify, which made its U.S. debut in July, offers users free ad-supported access to a library with millions of songs. It also offers a $4.99 monthly option with unlimited streaming and no ads, or a $9.99 subscription that supports offline mode, access from mobile devices, ad-free music playback and unlimited streaming. Its recent partnership with Facebook has been seen as a driving force for its success in the United States. The company also announced on Friday that its service is now available on Boxee. More →
Facebook will launch a music service on September 22nd, CNBC reported today. There are currently no details on whether it will be a streaming subscription service or simply a music storefront similar to iTunes, and Facebook has not yet confirmed the announcement. Business Insider said the Facebook music service will integrate with other third party services such as Spotify and Rdio. CNBC also suggested Facebook will work with MOG, another music service that has a long-standing relationship with Facebook. Spotify and Rdio currently allow users to integrate with social networks to share songs and playlists with friends. More →
Sonos released a new sibling in their audio lineup recently, and it’s called the PLAY:3. You can think of it as a smaller PLAY:5 (what used to be called the S5), and it is definitely up to par with the level of quality that Sonos is known for. There isn’t an actual subwoofer, rather a tweeter and a couple mid-range speakers, though the unit does offer decent bass and low-end performance. You can also create a stereo pair with two PLAY:3 units if you’d like, using one for a left channel and one for the right channel to fill your entire room with audio. The fact you can add all kinds of music services like Spotify, Pandora, Napster, Rhapsody, Rdio, Last.fm, iheartradio and many more, including your local iTunes library, is straight up mind blowing — all your music in true Sonos fashion is at your fingertips, and it just works. At $299, the PLAY:3 makes jumping into a Sonos setup relatively inexpensive, and a setup consisting of a few PLAY:3 units and PLAY:5 units can really create the perfect music listening experience in your home.
Spotify launched in the United States less than two weeks ago and it is already the target of a patent infringement lawsuit. A firm called PacketVideo is suing and alleges that Spotify is infringing on patent 5,646,276 for “a device for the distribution of music information in digital form.” The patent describes a method of accessing music through a “central memory device” that is connected to a “communications network and has a databank of digitized music information.” Surely, your computer, mobile devices and the cloud are all “central memory devices” that can be used to access Spotify over communications networks, but the lawsuit sounds a bit far fetched to us. After all, there are dozens of competing services such as Rhapsody, Apple iCloud, Amazon, Pandora and Slacker that offer a similar experience. According to TechDirt, PacketVideo purchased the patent in question in 1995. More →
Spotify has teamed up with Klout, the online social influence measuring website, to offer U.S. invites to its unlimited streaming music service that launched Thursday morning. Simply sign up for a Klout account to get started and, if you have enough influence across various social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, you could qualify for immediate free access to Spotify. Spotify’s free ad-supported service is currently available by invite only in the U.S., though the paid services are open to all. Klout is also offering one month of Spotify Premium service if you get five of your friends to sign up. We’re loving Spotify so far and if you want to skip the wait without paying, Klout is definitely your best bet. More →
Spotify, the trendy music on demand service that has garnered tremendous media attention in Europe, has finally launched in the U.S. as rumored last week. Spotify announced earlier this month that it would become available in the U.S. “soon,” though open negotiations with Warner Music Group were reportedly preventing the company from setting a firm launch date. Apparently Warner finally came around. The Spotify service lets users stream unlimited music on demand, and also build and share playlists. For the time being, the free ad-supported version of Spotify that allows streaming to Windows and OS X PCs only is available as an invite-only service in the U.S. Those who don’t want to wait, however, can pay: a premium $9.99 per month subscription will let users stream ad-free music to mobile devices, share playlists and cache music for offline playback. A $4.99 intermediate plan will remove ads from the stream, but it doesn’t support streaming to the company’s mobile apps, which are already available for iOS devices in the App Store and for Android devices in the Android Market. A nifty little intro video can be seen below along with Spotify’s full press release. More →
Popular European streaming music service Spotify could launch in the U.S. as soon as next week, AllThingsD’s Peter Kafka speculates. Spotify announced earlier this week that it would be taking its talents to the U.S., but it gave no indication as to how soon the launch might occur. AllThingsD says the smart money is on a launch next week, and the blog has historically been accurate with its coverage of the Stockholm-based music start-up. Kafka reaffirms that Spotify only has deals inked with three of the four major U.S. record labels, but he says a deal with Warner Music Group is close enough to being signed that it should be completed ahead of a launch next week. Like Microsoft’s Zune service or Rhapsody, Spotify allows users to stream music on demand, create playlists and more. The service uses a freemium model that permits ad-supported content to be streamed to desktop computers for free, and then offers mobile streaming, playlist sharing and sheds the ads for paid subscribers. Spotify has not yet revealed pricing for the U.S. market. More →
Custom music steaming company Spotify on Wednesday announced that it will soon launch its popular service in the U.S. The company has been rumored to be in negotiations with major U.S. music labels for more than a year now, and it looks like those negotiations finally panned out. ”The award-winning music service that’s taken Europe by storm will soon be landing on US shores,” the company said in a statement on its website. “Millions of tracks ready to play instantly, on your computer and your phone.” In markets where the service is currently available, Spotify allows users to stream music on demand for free to PCs. For a monthly fee, the service adds additional features and supports more devices, such as the iPhone, iPad and Android devices. Pricing and other details for the U.S. market have not yet been announced. More →
Microsoft has just invited us to a Windows Phone event in New York City on May 24th, 2011, during which the company will “lift the curtain on the next major release of Windows Phone.” We know Mango will offer Internet Explorer 9 with an integrated Twitter experience, better multitasking, and new apps such as Angry Birds, Skype, and Spotify. We’ve also heard that Microsoft will add Bing Audio for identifying music, Bing Vision for scanning bar codes, and voice-guided turn-by-turn navigation with Bing Maps, although none of these features have been confirmed by Microsoft just yet. On May 24th, however, we’ll learn it all — and of course we’ll be on hand reporting live.
Companies like Apple and Google are doing their best to put together music products that compete directly with Spotify’s Web-based music streaming product. While reports suggest record labels are making the process as difficult as possible for these giants, Spotify just took the fight to their home turf. The company on Wednesday launched a new music download service that attempts to make Spotify “the only music player you’ll ever need.” Spotify users can now purchase and download full playlists comprised of any songs from the company’s 9 million-track catalog for as low as £0.50 per song. And as an extra little slap, Spotify’s new feature allows playlists to be synchronized with the iPod classic, iPod nano or iPod shuffle right from within the Spotify desktop app. Spotify still isn’t available in the U.S., but rumors suggest the company is closer than ever to striking deals with record companies that will allow it to launch its popular service stateside. Hit the break for the full press release and a video that explains the company’s new download service. More →