Spotify was born in Sweden and soon became available in Spain, Norway, Finland, and France. My homeland of the United Kingdom was next, and this month Spotify opened up its music box to the Netherlands. Here’s a map of Europe showing where Spotify is available, followed by some thoughts on where Spotify might launch next.
For some time now, Germany had been rumoured to be the next major European to get Spotify. Germany is the fourth largest market for music (after the USA, Japan and the UK) so a release there would be a big deal. But Spotify boss Daniel Ek has said that securing a deal with GEMA (the German performance rights organisation) was difficult, but this was before another music streaming service was launched in Germany. Simfy.de opened its doors this month, offering music streaming to the German market via various deals such as this one with Merlin. Simfy has set a precedent, so it would seem Spotify Deutschland is now much more likely to happen sooner rather than later.
Now that Ireland has introduced Europe’s first 4 Strikes and Your Out law to cut off file-sharers from the Internet, the Irish need a good legal alternative as soon as possible.
Spotify’s American dream has been the source of constant rumour and speculation for many months now. Originally planned for the end of 2009, Spotify are now claiming a US launch sometime this summer. The original date had to be pushed back due to difficulties working with the American record labels, but the recent introduction of the £5/month Spotify Unlimited aligns the service much better with the US competition. Spotify Open may also have been launched with the aim of better aligning with US-based competition as well as appeasing the US labels.
A bit of a wild-card, but back in August 2009 there were several stories that Spotify would be launching in China soon. This of course hasn’t happened yet, but remember that a major investor in Spotify is Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing. His involvement with Spotify has already born fruit with several Spotify deals on Ka-shing’s 3 mobile network in the UK, so I expect some sort of Far East launch of Spotify must surely be under consideration. There’s not too much in the way of Chinese content yet (at least not on Spotify UK), but at least there’s still a bit of Jacky Cheung and Leo Ku.