European music streaming service Spotify has opened its doors to the U.S. market. It will compete not only with such streaming music providers as Pandora and Last.fm but also, once consumers grasp the cross-platform capabilities, with iTunes as well.
For brands the service will mean ad opportunities immediately, as oppose to having to wait for a ramp up period while users try out the service for free. There are three versions available. One is free and that is invitation-only, an apparently exclusive club for the moment. Ads are served up with that plan.
A $5 per month plan does away with the ads and for $10 per month Spotify subscribers can access and save music to a number of devices.
There are many reasons for both users and advertisers to take note of Spotify, writes ReadWriteWeb. Its catalog is an astounding 15 million songs - not far at all from iTunes' 18 million tracks. Also the music is stored in the cloud and can be played on native clients for Mac, Windows, iPhone, Android, Windows Phone, Palm and Symbian.
It is not as though Spotify needed a gimmick to market its service - it has been well anticipated for some time. However the music service joined forces with another hot internet property, Klout. The social media scoring site has, it says in a blog post, "a limited number" of Spotify Free account invitations to pass out.
If an applicant is influential enough the account might even be upgraded to Spotify Premium. Klout has been growing in influence, with a high score considered a badge of honor (some people reportedly include it on their resumes).
Klout’s promotion of Spotify has exceeded beyond expectations, apparently, as the site crashed by mid day after the launch. Aside from that, writes Beta Beat, it was a brilliant use of the social scoring service. Applicants "were prompted with the typical pyramid scheme: invite five friends and get a free trial of the premium version. Normally I would have skipped this step, but I wanted to broadcast that my Klout score was high enough to get in, so I bit the bullet and spammed my friends."