Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Spotify Still Hiring–But Not Launching Yet–In the U.S.

Most Americans still can’t access Spotify. But some of them can get jobs from the European music streaming service, which is continuing to staff up its New York office in advance of a U.S. launch.

The company has brought on Steve Savoca, who ran digital at U.K. indie label Domino Records, to run its U.S. content business. He’ll join, among others, Ken Parks, a former attorney for EMI Music who has been running Spotify’s New York outpost for a couple years; and at least two veterans from Limewire, the now-defunct file sharing service.

And Spotify CEO Daniel Ek would like you to know that the company is still looking for “rockstar engineers and product people” in the U.S., too. (You’re welcome, Daniel.)

Spotify still doesn’t have a U.S. launch date, though, because it still doesn’t have all the music label deals it needs. Sony and EMI have signed on, but the company still hasn’t inked a pact with Universal Music Group, the world’s biggest music company. It’d be nice if Warner Music Group were on board, too.

It’s increasingly likely that by the time Spotify does open up shop in the U.S., it will face competition from not just other streaming music services like Rdio, Rhapsody and MOG, but a new offering from Google.

Google wants to operate a “locker” music service which gives users access to all of their personal music files from a cloud-based server, and has begun testing the service internally. But just like Spotify, Google can’t launch without label deals–or, at least, it doesn’t want to launch without label deals–and so far it doesn’t have anything locked down.