Spotify has created a lightweight software application that allows instant listening to specific tracks or albums with virtually no buffering delay. It was launched in the fall of 2008 and had approximately 10 million users by September 2010.
Spotify offers streaming music from major and independent record labels including Sony, EMI, Warner Music Group, and Universal. Users download Spotify and then log onto their service enabling the on-demand streaming of music. Music can be browsed by artist, album, record label, genre or playlist as well as by direct searches.
Users can register either for free accounts supported by visual and radio-style advertising or for paid subscriptions without ads and with a range of extra features such as higher bitrate streams and offline access to music.
A paid “Premium” subscription is required to use Spotify on mobile devices.