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Spotify signs US deal with Sony: report

Spotify signs US deal with Sony: report

Published: 21 Jan 2011 15:55 GMT+01:00
Updated: 21 Jan 2011 15:55 GMT+01:00

Swedish online music service Spotify has inked its first United States distribution deal, bringing the popular music service one step closer to the desktops and mobile phones of US-based listeners.

Spotify signed the long-rumoured agreement with Sony Music Entertainment earlier this week, technology news website to the All Things Digital reported.

The deal marks Spotify's first with a major US record label and marks an important milestone in the company’s plans to bring its increasingly popular streaming music service to the United States.

According to All Things Digital, Spotify plans to offer services similar to those currently offered to European users, including a certain number of free streaming music per month, as well as a "premium" ad-free version.

Reports that the deal was imminent first emerged last week in the New York Post newspaper.

When reached by The Local, Spotify spokesperson Sophie Grant refused to comment on the Sony agreement or any other negotiations with US labels, cautioning they are "strictly confidential."

"We're working hard to get the service to the US as soon as possible. All we can say right now is watch this space," Grant said.

Founded in 2006, Spotify launched its online music service in Sweden, the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Finland and Norway in 2008. It now boasts 10 million registered users who can take advantage of a music catalogue totaling over 10 million songs.

The service has quickly established itself as a leader in legal digital music distribution. Since users don't save digital music tracks on their computers, Spotify's streaming service avoids many of the thorny copyright issues associated with downloading digital music files.

The site's innovative approach to music distribution was reaffirmed on Thursday by UK Prime Minister David Cameron on the sidelines of a summit in London for top officials from the Nordic and Baltic region, including his Swedish counterpart Fredrik Reinfeldt.

Speaking with reports following the day's proceedings, Cameron hinted he planned to join Spotify instead of buying songs from his mobile phone operator.

"Spotify has succeeded in solving a political problem which is about how we ensure that music producers get paid. Now they can even get paid from consumers in China," said the UK prime minister, according to the TT news agency.

David Landes (david.landes@thelocal.se)

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13:52 January 22, 2011 by Seamus Guevara
This is great, although you can't use it in Germany.
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