Spotify has finally launched its music-streaming service in Ireland, as well as Luxembourg, making the two tiny nations its sixteenth and seventeenth ports of call after Australia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK and the US.

Spotify now brings almost 20 million tracks to Ireland and Luxembourg – two countries that claim around six million residents between them – in the usual range of packages, including the gratis ad-based version, Spotify Unlimited (€4.99) which is ad-free and the €9.99 Premium option which takes your music offline and onto your mobile.

While Spotify is arguably the better-known brand in much of Europe, Deezer already has a head-start in Ireland having launched there last December, offering a pretty similar service, though without a proper free streaming option. So it will be interesting to see what kind of traction Spotify can gain.

Just to recap, Spotify had been in development since 2006, founded by Daniel Ek, who was formerly the CTO of Stardoll, and Martin Lorentzon, co-founder of TradeDoubler.

The music streaming service went live in October 2008, and it kept its free service invitation only, something that had been in place whilst it was in the final stages of development prior to public launch.

The invitation-only element was a vital part of the platform’s rise. Not only did it help manage the growth level of Spotify, but it also helped create a viral element to the service, with users each having 5 invites at first to share with their friends.

But there was a paid service too, and it was this paid element that was perhaps a little slower on the uptake, something that Spotify has been working hard to remedy over the past year or so. It has done this by restricting the number of hours users can listen to the free version each month, as well as introducing limits on the number of times a track can be listened to.

At the Global Business Summit on Creative Content in London back in July, Spotify announced it had over 15m active users, with 4m paying subscribers. With Ireland and Luxembourg now in the bag, and Italy and Poland potentially up next, it may just snatch another million or so.

Spotify | IrelandSpotify | Luxembourg