Spotify Is Here -- Pandora Takes A Hit

Is this your next subscription?

By Scott Budman
|  Thursday, Jul 14, 2011  |  Updated 1:53 PM PDT
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Spotify is here! Should Pandora be worried?

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At long last, music fans can rejoice:  There's another way to organize, store, and play your tunes.  Spotify, the European music subscription service, is finally here - and is gradually being offered to us Yanks who want to give it a try.

Among those watching closely, Pandora.  The recently public music service from Oakland took a hit on the Spotify news.  Its stock price (P) dropping a quick 7 percent on the news.

Unlike, say, iTunes, Spotify is a service you pay for up front, then, as the kids say, it's an "All You Can Eat" model. The service boasts 15 million songs for free, then kicks into freemium mode, where you pay either $4.99 for an ad-free version, or $9.99 for the "premium" plan, that offers other streaming and storage services.

What will people like about this?  The interface is cool - it's different from iTunes, and lots of people will like that; it's also super fast, and has been streaming music from the cloud for a long time, as opposed to all of those newcomers like Apple and Google.  Also, the invites are trickling out, which always makes early adopters feel special.  CNN is reporting that all will be invited within a couple of weeks.

What may fall flat?  Well, so far, no subscription service (and there are a lot of them) have caught on anywhere near the iTunes model.  Will this be the first?  Also, do we need another music storage/organizing service?  OK, admittedly, lots of people said that about Google + and social networking, and that seems to be doing pretty well.

Fact is, we in Silicon Valley can't get enough new ways to move media.  The demand for Spotify has been building for a while now - we expect lots of people to try it out - we'll let you know what they think.

Have a Spotify story?  Let Scott know on Twitter:  @scottbudman

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