Spotify launches (at last) in the U.S. on Thursday


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Spotify, the popular European digital music service, says it will launch in the U.S. on Thursday.

The news has long been anticipated, since the company announced more than a year ago its plans to play in the U.S., the world’s largest and most competitive market for music.

Spotify’s offerings will be largely similar to what it has in Europe, namely a free service supported by advertising and two premium tiers that let users listen without ads and on mobile devices. The free tier will let users listen to the company’s catalog of more than 15 million songs from a computer connection for six months. After that, free users will be capped at 10 hours a month and up to five spins for any particular song.


Spotify’s paid tiers include a plan for $4.99 a month that will let users listen without ads, and another for $9.99 a month that allows users to access music from a smart phone such as an iPhone, Android, Palm or Windows 7 device.

The company plans to open the doors to its service at 5 a.m. Thursday morning. Free users will need an invitation from the company (you can enter your email on the company’s website to receive an invitation). Paying subscribers will not need an invitation to start using the service.


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-- Alex Pham