If you ask people in Europe and in the UK, the preferred music streaming service is Spotify. However, if you ask someone in the US, it is most likely that an American has never heard of the service. According to rumors, the Swedish music streaming service is planning to penetrate the US market this year. However, Apple’s iCloud could prevent this from ever happening.
According to LA Times, the iCloud service will allow users to upload music up in the clouds and play their music from Apple devices such as the iPhone 4 or iPad 2. They can also be played from web browsers. Initially, the service will be a free trial. After the trial has expired, users can enjoy more from the service at $25.00 or £17.00 a year. Four major record labels (EMI, Warner, Sony, and Universal) have all joined in the action.
Spotify is different. It is a customizable radio station that allows users to stream music to their PCs or smartphones. The free version is not available on mobile devices. Furthermore, it comes with annoying ads and limits you to 10 hours of streaming a month. The paid version for mobile phones, Spotify Premium, is ad-free and offers unlimited music streaming for £119.88 a year or £9.99 a month.
As you can see, there is a large difference in price regardless of the conversions. In addition, Apple users in the US have a cult following that makes them loyal to anything Apple has to throw at them. If ever Spotify does plan to launch their service in the US, it is quite possible that no one will even bother taking notice, everyone except non-apple users.
Spotify will still have a market in the US if they cater to Android smartphone, Blackberry handsets, or Honeycomb tablets like the Motorola Xoom. If the iCloud is just the way LA Times has described it, then Spotify might be successful in the US. If not, they might not be as big, but they will still be able to penetrate the non-Apple market.