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Spotify Lands in the U.S.

spotify logoFacebook is often cited in the United States as a great example of how big ideas flourish in free societies. In Europe the frequently cited example is Spotify.

Spotify is considered such a success from entrepreneurship that British Prime Minister David Cameron used Spotify as an example to describe how big ideas flourish in free societies at the Davos summit in 2011. Furthermore, even Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg has openly declared: “Spotify is so good”.

Finally, the award-winning music service that’s taken Europe by storm has now come to U.S. shores

Made in Sweden

Home of musical powerhouse ABBA, Sweden houses the headquarters of Spotify. Launched with €12 million in venture capital (about $17 million) from Creandum and Northzone, both based in Stockholm, Spotify was founded in 2006 by Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon.

The name Spotify is a hybrid between spot and identify. The company’s goal is to help people listen to whatever music they want, whenever they want, wherever they want.

spotify founders

Spotify founders Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon

The growth of Spoitfy has been fueled by investors such as Wellington Partners, a British venture fund, which contributed €7 million, and Li Ka-shing, a Hong Kong magnate and the world’s 11th-richest man, who sank in €20 million.

According to the their website, Spotify has headquarters in the UK and offices in Stockholm, Paris, Oslo, Madrid, Amsterdam and New York. As of 07/31/11, Spotify has over 13 millions tracks, about 10 million registered users and 1 million paying users.

The Service

According to the company, Spotify is an online music service offering users the ability to stream more than 13 million tracks on demand using Spotify’s unique technology.

Spotify is marketed both as a premium monthly subscription service and a version which is free for consumers to use, and supported by advertising. The software is available for download on both computers and smartphones.

Launch in the U.S.

Spotify brought its music streaming service for the first time to the United States on July 14, 2011. Available by invitation only, Spotify offered made a smart move by limiting the access to the service to a select few.

The company was launched in partnership with some of the biggest and most pioneering brands in the world, Coca-Cola and Sprite, Chevrolet, Motorola, Reebok, Sonos and The Daily. However, the partner that brought in the most online buzz was Klout, whichi offered a limited number of early-access Spotify account invitations to dole out to its users.

The campaign spread through social media because Klout users could get access to a free month of Spotify Premium (a $4.99 value) by successfully making 5 people register with Klout.

Still, despite the successful launch of Spotify, it has not been without hiccups. The Atlantic Wire reported that Packetvideo filed court papers in the US and in the Netherlands on July 28th, exactly two weeks after their debut. Packetvideo alleges that Spotify’s service violates two intellectual property patents they have covering streaming music over the internet

Sign up for Spotify at

By Damian Davila, writer on business and marketing at idaconcpts, putting ideas and concepts to work in e-commerce. Follow him on Twitter at @idaconcpts.

Posted in International and Social Startups. Tags: , ,

17 Replies

  1. sapir Aug 4th 2011

    sounds like a useful tool. i love everything new that included music with it :)

  2. @sapir I’m addicted to it. If you need a free invite for Spotify in the U.S., try:

  3. Katie Aug 6th 2011

    I spend a lot of time looking for good sait or program to download and play online music. thank you!.

  4. Hi there. Thanks for sharing this info. Very nice.

  5. I never heard of spotify before. Will definitely try it. Does it work only in the US though? Is spotify the same like Youtube?

  6. Lorarian89 Aug 7th 2011

    never heard of Spotify before, sounds like a promising software. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Michael Aug 7th 2011

    Sounds good and interesting… I wonder, I would like to have a good conclusive music software to handle my stuff… though never herd of this one mentioned here..Spotify.]

    Any ways thanks for the update :)

  8. @Michael This platform is awesome and unlike other ones it incorporates your existing playlists (e.g. Windows Media Player, iTunes,, etc) into your account. Another great thing is that this company incorporated Facebook correctly into the UI so it is really easy for your existing friends to suggest songs to you, and viceversa. If you have any questions, feel free to let me know.

  9. Never heard about spotify before. I will definitely try this when i got home. Another thing. Does the application work like iTunes?

  10. Spotify is really a cool service. And the numbers are quite impressive. 10% paying customers is not bad.

  11. Hi, Damian,
    never known for Spotify so far, or for its success in entrepreneurship. But if it comes from Sweden it must be good. All Swedish companies have always been tough on the market, from Volvo to Ikea and many others.

  12. @Tristan You will need to register an account at their site and download the app to your computer. The beauty of Spotify is that you can log in to as many devices as you want, unlike iTunes that only allows you to share your account with 5 devices. This is awesome because you can log into anybody’s PC or smartphone with your account and you will have immediate access to all your songs on Spotify. Also, unlike iTunes you can sync your playlists from other places such as Windows Media Player.

  13. @Johaness Yup, 10% of paying customers is awesome!

    @Kristina Their story is really interesting. Daniel Ek (bald guy on the pic) is particularly interesting, if you get a chance to see videos of him talking about anything, take the time to watch him. He has a lot of great ideas.

  14. Aloha from Hawaii everybody,

    I just renewed my premium subscription to Spoitfy, I got 9 invites left.

    If you want one, please follow me on Twitter at @idaconcpts and send me an @ reply telling me that you’re folllowing and want a Spotify inivte.


  15. And when something good comes along, you can always expect more of the same. The French streaming service, which has an even bigger subscriber base, is also moving into the international market. Ironically, I’m in a European country that has neither, so I can’t compare the services. But if you like streaming music (and apparently more and more of us do), give them both a spin.

  16. Hi Michael,
    I hadn’t heard of Deezer at all.
    Thanks for the tip, I love to keep up on the newest tech startups.
    – Damian

  17. If anybody needs Spotify invites, I have plenty to give away. Just @ reply me at @idaconcpts on Twitter.

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