Spotify is a Swedish company that is offering a very popular music service in select countries in Europe. With the Spotify Open service you can listen to any track in the 8 million strong catalog for 20 hours a month for free with ads. You of course can buy tracks anytime like in iTunes. You can als create playlists and share music with your friends. Spotify also offers pay services that give you unlimited streaming and more features. Spotify is currently only available in UK, France, Spain, Norway, Finland, Sweden and the Netherlands.
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This is already a hint why Spotify is not available in the United States yet. The company is not even able to offer its service in all of Europe. CNET has just published a report that takes a a look at the obstacles Spotify is facing in the United States. Of course their stream free business model that makes it attractive to users is a red flag for the major labels. According to CNET Apple is also spreading fear among labels that digital music sales could decline overall with the launch of Spotify.
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We have not seen the final model yet on how digital content will be sold to us. Totally free is of course no option.