At a conference in London Tuesday, Spotify's European general manager told attendees that the company was wrapping up its remaining licensing deals for a long-delayed U.S. launch, but that it wouldn't go live before July 5.
"We're signing the remaining deals as I speak," Jonathan Forster said. "We won't launch before July 5."
According to the account in Silicon Valley Watcher, Forster said Spotify had to agree to "a faster monetization strategy that it would like" as a means of appeasing the U.S. record labels.
Now Spotify has made grand pronouncements about its U.S. launch before, only to be stymied by negotiations. In the last year, the company has stopped making predictions and has employed a more tight-lipped strategy. Which is why this news coming out of London is a bit out of character.
Numerous reports allege that Spotify has signed licensing deals, or has deals in principle, with all the major U.S. labels save Warner Music Group. And word is that the WMG deal will be wrapped up in a matter of days.
Spotify has also been staffing up its U.S. offices in preparation of going live. And U.S. reporters have begun receiving another round of invites to the beta version of the service.
Once the licensing deals are finalized, there's very little to keep Spotify from going live stateside in short order. It already has ingested the music catalog it needs by virtue of its already operational European service. It's really just about marketing and internal support functions at this point.