After years of waiting, Spotify -- the Europe-only music-streaming service U.S. techies have been lusting after for years -- has finally announced its plans to enter the U.S. market.
Yes, really. So break out the champagne and reefer, or whatever. Unless you work for Apple, Rhapsody, Pandora, Rdio, or, uh, any one of the many other companies about to face a much-hyped new competitor.
But then, anyone watching knew this was coming. The Swedish firm has been looking to enter the U.S. for years, and word has slowly leaked of the deals it has made to achieve that goal. Today, however, Spotify finally noted on its own website that it plans to come to the States, apparently signifying that those deals are final. No formal launch date was set, but you can submit your e-mail address for an invite to use the service early.
What's so great about Spotify? European customers, who've had it since 2008, say the service -- which has a free, ad-supported version along with ad-less paid versions -- simply offers one of the best systems for accessing a huge library of streaming music. Of course, as with other services such as Rhapsody and Rdio, Spotify works on our computer, your smartphone, and other devices. Unlike some of those services, it also offers higher bit-rate streams for those concerned about quality audio.
Curious what all the hype is about? So are we. Send 'em your e-mail address for more details and an early look at the U.S. launch.