Spotify has finally come to the US, after the free music streaming service has been well received in the European markets where it has been operating since 2008.
So far, US users have to get an invitation to join the service, and if they don't have one, you can provide your email to Spotify and they will send out one as soon as it's available. Customers of Spotify's launch partners, Coca-Cola and Sprite, Chevrolet, Motorola, Reebok, Sonos and The Daily, might be able to get their hands on an invite sooner rather than later as well.
The official launch, more details in this official blog post, will provide the same "freemium" Spotify service European music lovers have come to known and love. The free account allows you to enjoy 15 million tracks, with comes with some advertising. The $4.99 per month "Unlimited" service gets rid of the ads, while the $9.99 per month "Premium" service also allows for offline listening, and comes with mobile device support.
It is thought that Spotify will compete with Apple's iTunes Match service, but the two service operate quite differently. While iTunes Match will allow people who download pirated music to pay a little bit back to the industry, $25 per month, Spotify has the advantage of being legal 100% of the process (so you don't need to take the risk of downloading pirated MP3s).
Regardless of whether Spotify will compete directly with Apple iTunes Match, one thing is for sure - Spotify will do more to prevent music piracy than any of the methods attempted by the music industry, such as DRM or lawsuits.
If you're interested, and you live in the US, you can sign up here to request an invite:
Do you think Spotify will end music piracy? Post your opinion in this news article's comments section, or in this forum thread: