Spotify is funded by paid subscriptions and advertisements played periodically by the Spotify player at intervals in between songs. In February 2009 these were reported as lasting 15 seconds, and playing at half-hour intervals, though as of May 2009 they have increased to an approximate length of 30 seconds, according to Neowin. The interval between audio adverts is not constant, and adverts after every song may occur. Adverts also regularly appear in Spotify's graphical interface. Alternatively the user can pay a monthly fee of €9.99 (roughly $14 USD, £9.99 GBP, 99 NOK or 99 SEK) and there are then no advertisements in the client window or between songs, and songs play at higher quality (320kbps).
Spotify, which in Europe has licensing arrangements with all the major labels, has been working with State-side record companies for the past year on an agreement that would allow the service to work in the US, though that's yet to happen; if (and when) it does, it could make a serious dent in the American market, which is one reason why co-founder Daniel Ek's keynote speech today as part of the New Music Seminar in LA is so eagerly anticipated.
For fifteen years, from 1980 t0 1995, the New Music Seminar was one of New York City's most respected music industry conventions. Last year founder Tom Silverman, who started the legendary hip hop label Tommy Boy, revived the seminar as a touring entity, dropping into cities for single-day workshops and panels. Today the Seminar arrives in LA for the first time.
Late notice, yes, but if you're in Hollywood and have a few hundred dollars to drop for a pass, you can hear what Spotify founder Daniel Ek has to say about the company's entry into the US market. He'll speak at noon at the Henry Fonda Theater. For more info on the array of panelists -- this is a great place to (ugh) "network" -- check here.
We're headed down there, and will have a report after Ek concludes his talk.