Sweden - a safe haven for... innovation?
October 7, 2008 10:47 AM   Subscribe

Talking about Sweden and music has up until now either dealt with The Swedish Music Export Phenomenon or how Sweden is a safe haven for pirates. That might change now. Today Spotify launched (that is, for people in Sweden, the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Finland or Norway). A streaming music application that provides full on demand playing. Available in ad-supported (30s twice per hour) free mode or premium mode (~$15 per month).

And it wouldn't be a proper startup if you didn't get the mandatory "this is going to change the world" video.

The Local has the details.

But of course, this and any future discussion regarding any aspect of Sweden or Swedish people will forever be overshadowed by that heretic Engdahl.
posted by mnsc (7 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I don't know when/if Spotify will be available in the US but this blog post suggests that you could use the application in the US if you get your hands on an invitation.
posted by mnsc at 10:51 AM on October 7, 2008

Just tried it and couldn't get access from here in the UK - it wants an invitation code.

So what's it do?
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 11:04 AM on October 7, 2008

(non-snarkily) How is this different from imeem (which works fine in the US)?
posted by neustile at 11:06 AM on October 7, 2008

That is right, the officially launched product is the paid premium account. The free account is still invite-only like the previously (much coveted) beta-testing accounts. I guess it's a strategy for getting a somewhat slower user base growth rate. So what's launched is basically the option of paying to skip ahead of the usual early adopter inviting hierarchies.
posted by mnsc at 11:09 AM on October 7, 2008

Am I missing something, or is this Last.fm, only not quite as good, and you have to pay for it/listen to adverts?
posted by jack_mo at 11:11 AM on October 7, 2008

I haven't used Imeem, but I have used last.fm and it's not like that. It's a standalone iTunes-looking application which somehow, despite the music being streamed, feels more responsive than iTunes did when I threw a minor part of my offline mp3 collection at it. Searching for songs/artists/albums is google-fast and the songs found are full length versions which you can combine and save in custom playlists at your own free will.

That said, much of my music collection is nowhere to be found (no Peter Broderick, it's an outrage!) so I'm currently not going to pay for it. So i guess, as all other online music attempts, it will only be as successful as the lawyers are good at wringing deals.
posted by mnsc at 11:22 AM on October 7, 2008

They expect people to pay for streaming media?
posted by Sys Rq at 12:28 PM on October 7, 2008

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