Spotify ramping up for imminent US launch

Testers of Spotify's streaming service in the US have received an e-mail warning them that a full launch is due in the next few months, following the company reaching agreements with US record labels.

Spotify has proven an extremely popular streaming music service in the UK, offering completely free access to a massive collection of songs if you don't mind adverts. For those who would prefer to listen uninterrupted, a £9.99 monthly subscription option takes the adverts away - and adds support for mobile devices, too.

Licensing issues with US record labels have prevented the company breaking into the US market, however - but an e-mail sent to its US beta testers today suggests that Spotify has finally reached an agreement and is gearing up for an imminent launch.

"We are really looking forward to launching the service in full in the USA over the coming months," the e-mail reads, "and hope that you will continue to use the service and be one of our key advocates."

The company's e-mail comes just weeks after it announced a deal with Sony over music licensing, suggesting that other US record labels have followed suit and signed agreements to licence their back catatalogues to Spotify.

Although details aren't yet available, it appears that Spotify will only be launching its premium subscription product - at least initially - and is asking its US testers to register their payment details now. As a reward, however, the testers have received a one-month Spotify Premium membership for free.

Without the lure of the free, ad-supported streaming service, it remains to be seen if Spotify can capture the US market as thoroughly as it has the UK.