Spotify wins European Tech Start-Up 100 Award

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Popular online music streaming service Spotify has come up trumps at the Start-up 100 Awards.

The award ceremony, held in London on Tuesday, was organized by TechCrunch Europe and the UK’s Daily Telegraph newspaper, among others, and honors European-based start-ups. The judging panel included venture capitalists and investors.

Swedish-based Spotify allows users to listen to streamed music any place, any time, anywhere – well, almost anywhere. Due in large part to the difficulty in breaking deals with various record labels and local publishing rights societies, Spotify and its more than 10 million music tracks are currently available in only seven countries: Finland, France, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the UK.

The start-ups in contention for the prize were a broad mix of companies, from those who are still in the early stages of launch, to those who are a little more established. We’ve all heard of Angry Birds, haven’t we? Their Finnish-based creators, Rovio, was among the listed 100 start-ups, and though they failed to bag the top prize, they did take the runner-up position in the Gaming & Virtual Worlds category.

Spotify was also up against the likes of London-based Wonga, provider of short-term financial loans, and affiliate marketing specialists SkimLinks, also based in the UK.

Those in the US who are keen on trying out Spotify have two choices: Either move to Europe, or wait. There is cause for hope among those in the States – Spotify is now hiring for its New York office. The company’s website is showing ads for a region controller, a graphic designer, an interaction designer and a software engineer. Hopefully this spells a 2011 launch, though we’re not holding our breath.

It seems that the record companies are still cautious about engaging with companies like Spotify, but hopefully it will be only a matter of time before an agreement is struck that will bring this popular music service to the masses.

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