European cloud-based music streaming service that the Internet really, really liked to talk about, Spotify, has finally made its United States debut. There are two versions available, a free version and paid version. The free version is currently only available via invite, while the pay version is available to everyone.
There are a few pricing plans available. The “Open” plan is the free option, and will allow users to stream tracks locally from their computers, and share tracks and playlists with friends, though they’ll have to deal with an ad-supported service. The biggest caveat for the free plan, though, is for the first six months, free members can only listen to music for 20 hours per month, then after that six month period, users can only listen to music for 10 hours per month, and will not be able to listen to a track more than five times, essentially making the service worthless and forcing people to move on from the free option. The next tier up, the “Unlimited” plan, will cost $4.99 per month, and gives the user full access to music from their computer without any kind of silly restrictions. The highest tier, the “Premium” plan, will cost $9.99 per month and basically adds mobile devices onto the features of the Unlimited plan, but also adds offline access to playlists (somewhat curbing the biggest downfall of the cloud, in that if you do not have Internet access, you do not have access to anything on the cloud), as well as provides a higher quality stream and exclusive content, like early access to album launches. Interested? Pop on over to the official US Spotify site, and check below to watch a promotional video for the US launch.