Spotify: possibly the most exciting thing to happen to music here in the UK since Napster. As much music as you want, completely legal, completely free. Now it's heading to the US, possibly by the end of this year. But does America actually want it?
We fired up the old instant messenger and chatted with an actual American to find out. This American was called Donald Bell, and he happens to be a senior editor and audio expert at CNET.com over in the US. Turns out the thought of an American Spotify is exciting him as much as it is us.
"I suspect it would do gangbusters," he said, while we nodded and smiled as though we knew what that meant. "The rage here for young and old is Pandora. Subscription music services all seem to fall flat because no one wants to pay for music anymore, much less music they can't keep. Spotify, from my brief encounters with it, seems to bridge the simplicity of Pandora with the ravenous all-you-can-download gorging of subscription music -- but without any of the cost. In this way, I think an American audience will take to it immediately, provided nothing swoops in before it."
He's talking about Microsoft. Earlier this month, the software behemoth revealed plans to launch a competitor to Spotify. In fact, it told CNET News that it could launch "within the coming months", which could potentially steal an excited American market away from Spotify, and towards a name they're already familiar with.
It's a race. Nothing more. If you're in the US and know about Spotify, let us know your thoughts below.