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Music service Spotify launches in U.S.

Thu, 07/14/2011 - 8:05am
The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) – Spotify, a digital music service already popular in Europe, is now available in the United States.

Spotify lets users listen to songs on computers and mobile devices. It offers access to more than 15 million songs and gives users the ability to add digital music files that they already own. It also allows users to create online profiles of their music preferences, favorite artists and playlists, which can then be shared with other Spotify users.

The Swedish company is launching its service in the U.S. on Thursday. People can request invites to join on its website.

Spotify is offering a free, ad-supported version, as well as two subscription plans that do not include ads. A $5-a-month plan lets users access music on their computers and $10-a-month plan includes access on cell phones and other mobile devices, too.

The free version will be available for only six months, according to a report in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Launched in 2008 to offer a legal alternative to online music piracy, Spotify currently has more than 10 million registered users and more than 1.6 million paying subscribers.

Helping to make the introduction possible, ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) cut a licensing agreement giving Spotify rights to stream the works of over 415,000 songwriter, composer and music publisher members of ASCAP. The agreement runs through 2013.

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