Music streaming service Spotify announced its long-awaited US launch today, but chose to do so with an invite-only beta. While there may be some teething problems in a new geography, we suspect this is as much a marketing ploy as anything else, as there's nothing like limited availability to make everyone want something - just look at Google+.
In fact, according to TechCrunch, it's only the free version that's in beta, with the Unlimited and Premium versions apparently being given an unconditional clean bill of health from the start. That's handy. As that report shows, Spotify is cleverly teaming up with select third parties to apportion these invites.
One such partner is Motorola, which has announced itself as the exclusive mobile device partner for Spotify's US launch. Apparently there will be a bunch of marketing campaigns from Moto over there offering its customers early access to the service. It's not clear what that will entail, however, since only premium versions of Spotify work on mobile devices, and they seem to be universally available already.
"The collaboration between Motorola and Spotify is the ultimate way to deliver the compelling music choices users are looking for on their mobile device," said Bill Ogle, chief marketing officer of Motorola Mobility. "As an exclusive launch partner of Spotify, we are able to provide our consumers not only with innovative products, but also premium access to an unparalleled music experience."
An exclusive launch partner? Call us pedantic but surely you can either be the exclusive partner or a partner. Maybe it's some special US grammar we're not aware of.
On that note they seem to be getting a pretty good deal from Spotify on the other side of the pond. We pay a fiver a month for Unlimited and a tenner a month for Premium; they get it for, you guessed it, five and ten dollars respectively. The current exchange rate is around 1.6 bucks to the quid.
They also get quite a fun video - more than we ever got - mutter, mutter.