All Things Digital:
Spotify has signed an American distribution deal with Universal Music Group, the world’s largest music label. The pact means that the streaming music company now has U.S. deals in place with three of the four largest labels, making it likely that the European company will finally be able to move across the Atlantic this summer.
The service still doesn’t have a pact signed with Warner Music Group, but people familiar with discussions say the two sides are closer than they have been, and are optimistic a deal will get done.
It’s possible that Spotify could open in the U.S. without Warner, but that would leave holes in the company’s catalog. And that’s a crummy way to introduce a service that CEO Daniel Ek has been promising to bring to the U.S. for two years.
Even if Warner signs next week, though, it will likely take Spotify some time to ramp up a marketing campaign and other elements it would need for a U.S. launch. I wouldn’t count on seeing anything in the States till July at the earliest…
New York Times:
Spotify, a popular European digital music service, has made a big step toward finally opening in the United States, after two years of negotiations with the major record companies and many promises that its debut was right around the corner.
The company has signed a deal with Universal Music Group, the largest of the four major record companies, according to two people briefed on the talks. Spotify, based in London and available in seven European countries, has already made deals for distribution in the United States with Sony Music Entertainment and EMI Music.
The fourth major label, the Warner Music Group, is still in negotiations with Spotify, according to two people involved in those talks. These people spoke on condition of anonymity because the terms of the deals were confidential. Spotify and Universal declined to comment…