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Apple iTunes worst nightmare:


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Link: http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2009-08-31/the-itunes-killer/

Some real competition for iTunes? I guess we'll find out soon. I love iTunes myself but they've had the lion's share of music sales. Competition is always a good thing for the consumer.

Apple's worst nightmare, and a music lover's best friend, is about to cross the Atlantic. Spotify offers free, infinite music—and it's all legal.

The European online music service Spotify offers six million tracks—a practically limitless catalog spanning Aaron Copland to ZZ Top—in an interface as polished and intuitive as Apple’s iTunes. And unlike the pay-per-song iTunes, Spotify’s entire library is free for the taking, assuming users can tolerate an occasional advertisement.

The service is presently confined to Europe, where it’s available in the U.K., France, Spain, Norway and Sweden—but it is planning a U.S. launch for early 2010. The prospect is surely creating a little anxiety at Apple’s Cupertino, California, headquarters.

Inside the tech world, the summer days have been flush with news of Spotify’s rise. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg proclaimed Spotify “so good” amid chatter that the two companies have been secretly negotiating a partnership. The Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing confirmed that he had invested an undisclosed sum in the startup. And if back-of-the-envelope math is to be believed, Spotify is now valued at €170 million, or about $244 million.

In Europe, Spotify has shown itself a keen competitor. In August, the head of Universal Music in Sweden said Spotify has become the label’s largest source of online revenue in the country, overtaking iTunes. Now Spotify is turning its sights to the U.S., where a spokeswoman says the company plans to launch in “early 2010.”

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