CONFIRMED RUMOR: SPOTIFY U.S. WILL LAUNCH THIS WEEK
We interrupt your day of BBQ and booze with some important news: MetalSucks has confirmed from a reliable source with ties to the major record labels that Spotify has reached a deal with Warner Bros. — the last of the “big four” major label holdouts — and that Spotify is set to launch in the U.S. this week. According to our source, who wishes to remain anonymous, the initial launch will be called a beta release, will be invite only, and is already available to a select group of industry insiders as a preview.
This is big news. Huge. With the ability to stream any song from anywhere for FREE — or $10 if you want to go without ads and be able to store music for offline listening — the music industry landscape will be forever changed. Those in Europe already know.
What remains to be seen is what kind of deals the labels have commanded and the real-world monetary impact they will have on artists (will they be paid fairly?). Furthermore, since Spotify pays on streams as a percentage of the overall pie, will metal bands — the biggest of whom have a tiny market share, realistically — be able to earn any money? My gander is that yes, they will, as repeated streams and plays will add up to well more than the purchase price of a CD… but, of course, this remains to be seen.
A big day for the U.S. indeed. Happy 4th!