Spotify US launch in question as labels refuse licensing deals

Spotify will miss their promise of a US launch of the streaming music service by the end of 2010, having reportedly failed to ink a single US licensing agreement with a major label despite a year of negotiations. The company is now declining to give solid US release dates, amid rumors that the music industry is demanding at least twice the conversion rate of free to paid users than Spotify is currently seeing.

According to Spotify's own figures, 750,000 of their 10m current users are paying for access to the company's catalog. That subscription nets advert-free playback and, on some plans, the ability to use Spotify's mobile apps for Android, iPhone and other platforms. Unfortunately, negotiators are unconvinced by a 7.5-percent conversion rate, seeing Spotify as a more risky prospect than iTunes.

Adding further problems is the ongoing rumor that Google is readying a streaming music service of its own, with greater brand cachet than Spotify could muster. Previous leaks have suggested that Spotify could push for a partial launch with only certain labels on board, but even that seems unlikely given this new batch of rumors.