Spotify US launch next week say reps

Spotify confirmed its US streaming music service would be launching soon earlier this week, but didn't go so far as to confirm exactly when that would be. Now, AllThingsD reports that Spotify's reps in the US have been telling music label executives there that the launch could be as early as next week, despite only having three out of the big four labels actually signed up.

Warner Music Group is still the laggard, though Spotify's negotiations are apparently near-final and there shouldn't, the sources reckon, be an issue getting them to sign up in time. Both label and streaming company have declined to comment on the rumors, unsurprisingly.

Spotifty's US debut has been well delayed over the months, with various plans announced and then discarded as the labels showed excess caution over whether the service could actually make them money. Originally, Spotify's main draw for many users was the free streaming option, which interspersed adverts into otherwise limitless access to the company's music catalog. Premium options were available for those wishing to remove the adverts and to access Spotify on smartphones and other devices.

Leaks from Spotify's meetings with labels suggested that content owners preferred a purchase system to a radio-style approach, as Apple operates with iTunes. Since the early negotiations, however, Spotify has slashed the free access through its existing European service to just 10 hours per month, and it could well be that which has helped tip things in their favor elsewhere.