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SPOTIFY’S US LAUNCH LOOKS UNLIKELY…


Billboard:

Spotify’s licensing negotiations with the major music labels have reverted back to square one, Billboard.biz has learned from multiple sources.

Having failed to persuade the major record labels to go along with its vision for a U.S. version of the popular European service, Spotify in the last month has approached the labels with a clean slate to determine what type of service would be possible to launch before the end of the year.

Spotify has been eying a U.S. launch for almost two years, originally expecting to go live in this market in 2009. But some labels, most notably Warner Music Group, have gone on record stating their displeasure with the “freemium” model that Spotify champions, which offers unlimited streaming for free under an ad supported model designed to drive users to a premium paid tier that eliminates ads and offer mobile access.

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek has insisted he wants to offer Spotify in the U.S. under a similar sort of model, with perhaps some changes to the length of time that the free tier would be available. But so far the four majors have not agreed on any common ground…

Digital Music News:

What was that about a launch in the fall? Spotify’s US-focused label negotiations appear to be going nowhere fast, according to information surfacing late Thursday.

Citing multiple unnamed sources, Antony Bruno at Billboard noted that Spotify is “reverting to square one” in its major label talks, and approaching the matter “with a clean slate” to create something workable for the US.

It seems fairly certain at this stage that a European translation of the service into the US is off the table. Warner Music Group is a major roadblock, though others seem to lack the appetite for another freemium free-for-all…