Spotify, a Swedish startup offering a lightweight software application enabling on demand streaming of music, has opened up its service for public.
Earlier on we wrote about rumor that Spotify had raised €15m round from various investors. Last week I received a confirmation that Creandum and Northzone Ventures has invested undisclosed sum to the Swedish startup (more bout this here).
It’s no wonder the startup is investors’ latest darling as it just recently signed significant licensing deals with Universal Music Group, Sony BMG, EMI Music, Warner Music Group, Merlin, The Orchard and Bonnier Amigo.
The service launched on October 7th 2008 in UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Finland, Norway and Sweden. Throughout the remainder of this year and into 2009 Spotify will be rolled out to further markets.
Spotify offers three different subscription models: Free, Day Pass and Premium accounts. Day pass cost you just under one pound sterling for 24 hours whereas the Premium account costs you 9.99 pound sterling a month. Free account is advertising funded, but if you have received your free account via an invitation already earlier on as I did, chances are you don’t need to deal with any advertising yet. Advertisers that have signed up to be included from the launch include Ford, T-Mobile and Xbox.
In comparison, the service is better than any other music service I have seen so far. Spotify allows you to share songs and playlists with friends, and even work together on collaborative playlists. It will also recommend music you might like based on what you’ve listened so far. To my delight it also seems to do the recommendation very accurately to match my taste. Martin Varsavsky used a fitting analogies for the service.
[…] Spotify is like iTunes but with on-demand. It’s like Joost, but for music! It´s like Pandora without the need to vote and with your ability to listen to music anytime you want. It´s like Last FM without the community.
The only downside was that some of the current users saw many of the songs on their playlists disappear as Spotify cleaned their playlist to reflect the current copyright agreements that they have been able to push through. Regardless, I think this is a minor disappointment and the users will possible see many of the songs reappear as Spotify tries to get more record labels behind them.
You can also post and vote on your favorite playlist Digg-style at Spotylist. Spotylist also allows you to find new playlists that others have posted via simple links. I already found two good ones just from the blog comments.
The fact that another service has already build its own offering on Spotify’s core product is a solid example that there is something very special about this service. Forget Last.fm, go Spotify!