One of the world leaders in the subscription music-streaming business, Spotify, is getting set to detail its plans for Australia early next week.
There is a solid range of options for Australians eager to buy into music streaming rather than owning their own collection. But Spotify's early success in Europe, followed by its expansion into the US, has had fans wondering when we would see the service reach our shores.
Compared with the current services available in Australia, Spotify could be the first to launch with a cost-free option. In other regions, it offers ad-supported free usage, plus two different premium service offerings to remove ads and expand how and where you can use the service. Spotify also offers deep social integration with Facebook, making it easy to share playlists and songs with friends.
The cheapest ongoing monthly fee for other available services is Sony Music Unlimited at $4.99 per month for its basic service.
In late 2011, Spotify started to hire an Australian team, led by ex-Google head of sales and operations, Kate Vale, so the anticipation for a local launch has been building for several months.
Globally, Spotify is now available in 13 countries, with over 10 million active users worldwide. The service has agreements with over 300,000 labels, and adds 20,000 new tracks each day to its collection of over 15 million tracks.
It will be interesting to see how aggressive Spotify's launch options will be, and whether competitive offerings from Sony, Samsung, Microsoft, Rdio, JB Hi-Fi and others will respond to try to maintain any early mover advantage that they may hope to have gained.