Spotify set to expand in Asia, Latin America

The popular streaming-music site is set to launch in eight new markets, according to sources.

Spotify sign at SXSW 2013
Spotify house at SXSW 2013 James Martin/CNET

Spotify's quest for world domination is continuing.

The top on-demand, streaming-music service is set to launch in eight new markets, including Mexico, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, the Baltics, and Iceland, according to a person familiar with the situation. The rollouts could come as soon as tomorrow.

Adding territories has been a top priority for Spotify, which is racing to boost its user base. Spotify, which launched in the U.S. just over a year and a half ago, now has 24 million active users , 6 million of whom are paying subscribers. It's become the fastest-growing digital music company ever , and is second in reach only to Internet radio company Pandora . With the additional markets, Spotify will be in 28 territories in all.

Growth is key for a number of reasons. The company is trying to negotiate better terms with the music labels, which earn the bulk of every dollar -- roughly 70 percent -- that Spotify brings in. The more Spotify is paying to the music labels and publishers, the better its position at the negotiating table. Spotify is already the label's No. 2 source of digital revenue behind Apple, and CEO Daniel Ek has said his company is on track to pay rights holders $500 million this year alone -- the same amount the company paid out in total since launching in 2008.

Yet competition is growing -- and fast. The big tech titans -- including Google , Apple , and Amazon -- are all gearing up soon to add streaming-music services of various sorts. So the quicker Ek and his team can open new markets and build the brand, the better.

Adding new markets requires its own set of negotiations. Each new territory requires new deals with music rights holders, something that Ek has said is Spotify's biggest limiter to growth . In addition, these new services -- both for mobile devices and PCs -- will be in local languages.

Spotify has amped up its marketing efforts in recent weeks as it seeks to build its name among mainstream music fans. The company last month launched its first-ever TV campaign , and last week it rolled out an ad across the top of YouTube , which has become the go-to site for young people to listen to music.

 

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