Spotify

Tim Bradshaw

American readers – brace yourselves. The most-hyped European music phenomenon since the Beatles has finally arrived. After two years’ wait, Spotify is set to open its doors in the US on Thursday. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

Location-based service Foursquare is to start incorporating daily deals from social shopping companies such as Groupon, LivingSocial, Gilt Groupe into its product, Mashable reports. Foursqaure plans to pass on daily coupons from its partners to the service’s users — taking a cut of the revenue along the way. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Facebook’s hint that it will be launching “something awesome” this coming week has prompted feverish speculation about what the social network will unveil, as it faces fresh competition from Google+Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Spotify has just launched a new download service and integration with non-touchscreen iPods, capabilities that have been more than a year in the making.

But Spotify is insisting this lengthy timescale is not another symptom of its tensions with record labels – rather it shows just how difficult it is to create a rival to iTunes for managing music on the go. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

The backlash against Spotify’s changes to its free service appears to be growing by the hour. More than 5,300 comments have been left on the company’s blogpost announcing that it would halve the 20-hour listening limit and impose a five-play cap on each individual song. Read more

The buzz around the stratospheric private market valuations of US technology groups such as Facebook, Groupon and Living Social is spreading to Europe, as investors seek to make the most of growth opportunities in internet companies.

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Tech news from around the web:

  • Warner Brothers is claiming to be the first film studio to offer movies for rent via Facebook, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Friends of Christopher Nolan’s Batman film Dark Knight can rent the film by going to the film’s Facebook page and clicking a “rent” icon. The cost per rental is 30 Facebook Credits, or $3, and viewers will have 48 hours from the purchase to watch the film.

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Tech news from around the web:

  • Spotify, the European music streaming service is ‘a few weeks away’ from inking a deal for US rights to songs from Universal Music Group, the world’s largest music company, people familiar with the talks have told Reuters. However, Spotify could end up launching without Warner Music Group, the number three music label group, says one person close to the talks.

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Spotify has stayed silent about the impact of Apple’s new subscription plans, perhaps because it was too busy negotiating $100m in new funding, but MOG has now joined the list of digital media start-ups and venerable publishers expressing consternation and confusion.

“From a principle perspective, I have a problem,” says CEO David Hyman. “We’ve spent years building this, and invested millions. It’s not clear to me why they deserve a bigger piece of my business than I get. It doesn’t feel right at all.” Read more

Tech news from around the web:

  • Spotify is in the process of closing a financing that values the European streaming music start-up at about $1bn, according to TechCrunch. DST, the venture firm that has backed Facebook, Groupon and Zynga, is said to be leading the deal.

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Tech news from around the web:

  • Zynga, the company behind online games FarmVille and CityVille, is in talks on an investment that would value it at nearly $10bn and could pave the way for an initial public offering next year, the New York Times’ DealBook reports. The company is in discussion  with T. Rowe Price and Fidelity Investments, among other investors, for a round of financing near $500m.

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Tim Bradshaw

Spotify knows how to brand a music service.

Last year, the ad-supported streaming service introduced “offline listening” to its mobile and desktop music applications for premium subscribers without ever mentioning the dreaded phrase “DRM” – in spite of the fact that access to the songs disappears as soon as you stop paying.

Today, it has announced a couple of new ways to access its extensive library in the cloud, whose limitations are so cleverly branded that you’d hardly notice. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Spotify is growing up fast. After first pitching itself as the best weapon against piracy, the online music service now has Apple in its sights. Apple’s approval of Spotify’s mobile application into the iPhone’s App Store surprised many last year but with a major upgrade to its main desktop software, Spotify is now challenging iTunes on its home turf.

Daniel Ek, Spotify’s co-founder, has never seemed short of self-belief but putting itself up against iTunes directly is a confident move for a service that has been around just 18 months. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Excitement about Spotify, and more recently MOG, has remained at boiling point for months now, as the music streaming sites raise new funds and gear up for international expansion.

But although Spotify and MOG have attracted the most hype, new rivals – from start-ups Deezer and Grooveshark, to Sky Songs and Virgin Media’s long-awaited MusicFish – are emerging all the time.

In the UK, We7 has been quietly building its offering after launching here around the same time as Spotify in late 2008.

Some 3m people now use its free, ad-supported site. Last month saw a new £4.99-a-month ad-free service, followed today by the release of a £9.99 monthly “Premium+” offering that adds mobile access to its library of millions of tracks. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

The music industry has taken another beating in the blogosphere over the last 24 hours after the head of Warner Music lashed out against online music streaming services such as Spotify and We7.

“Free streaming services are clearly not net positive for the industry, and, as far as Warner Music is concerned, will not be licensed,” Edgar Bronfman Jr, Warner Music’s chairman, said on the major label’s analyst call yesterday.

“The sort of ‘Get all of the music you want for free and then, with a few bells and whistles, maybe we can move you to a premium price’ strategy is not the kind of approach to business we’ll be supporting in the future.” Read more

Tim Bradshaw

It is one of the most hotly anticipated apps yet to appear on the iPhone.

From today, Spotify – the digital music application credited by some for finally luring listeners away from online piracy – can sit alongside iTunes on Apple’s mobile, as well as on phones running Google’s Android software.

On the PC, Spotify allows its users to listen to any of its millions of tracks for free, supported by advertising. On a mobile, users must upgrade to its premium subscription, which costs £9.99 a month or £119.88 a year (and also provides ad-free listening on the PC). Read more