After years of promises and excuses, Spotify has finally made its U.S. launch official -- sort of. The company went live today with a launch page saying that it will go live in the U.S. "soon" and asking anyone interested to enter their email for a chance to get one of the early invitations once it does.
However it lists no firm date for launch, no details on pricing, or really any other information other than testimonials from press and other users lauding the service (including a quip from Billboard's own Glenn Peoples).
The impending launch has been anticipated for weeks. First, it reportedly signed the necessary label deals needed to offer a U.S. service in rapid succession starting in January. Then, last month, the company's European general manager let slip at a conference in Europe that Spotify " wouldn't launch before July 5," which roused all manner of speculation of how long after July 5 that might mean.
Billboard sources point to a probable launch next week, with Friday July 8 as the earliest expected. But we've heard that story before.
What's interesting is that Spotify is asking potential users to sign up for an invite. That suggests Spotify may start first as an invite-only beta service, rather than a full-blown launch with all the marketing and advertising such a launch comes with.
There's also no detail about its rumored partnership with Facebook, under which Spotify would be one of several subscription music services available to Facebook users. But then Facebook is also set to unveil something "awesome" later today, so if anything relevant comes out of that we'll provide an update.
Earlier today, Spotify announced a partnership with Virgin Media in the U.K.