Get ready to see what all the hype is about: European music service Spotify is set to launch in the U.S. Thursday, according to an industry source, an email from the company's publicist and several reports in the media Wednesday afternoon. The company will announce more details at 8:00 am E.T. Thursday.
The company's licensing deal with Warner Music Group, the lone holdout of the four major music groups, was finalized just today, according to a New York Times article posted late Wednesday.
The levels of service available to U.S. consumers are detailed in the Times article. As expected there will be ad-free versions for web access for $5 per month and a $10 monthly plan that adds mobile access through smartphone apps and other perks (pre-release album access and contests are typical perks offered to U.K. subscribers). Paid subscriptions will be available right away, the Times claims.
U.S. consumers will also get the controversial free, ad-supported version. That service will most likely have the same or similar limitations that were imposed in Spotify's seven European markets earlier this year. The existence of a free service is said to have been a sticking point in negotiations with rights holders. When Spotify scaled back the free service, the move was widely seen as a concession that would help ensure it could acquire necessary licensing deals here in the U.S.
The Times also includes one statistic that shows a significant amount of growth since the last milestones were announced: 1.6 million subscribers. The last figure the company publicly shared was 1 million subscribers. The number of registered users Spotify claims to have is still 10 million, however.
As for the Facebook integration that has been a hot topic for speculation in recent weeks, the Financial Times says there will be nothing of the sort when Spotify launches tomorrow.