Spotify, the online music streaming service, has finally launched in Ireland. Spotify allows its users access to the over 18 million songs in its expansive database and is available to Irish users for the first time since the company was founded by Daniel Ek in 2006.

There are a variety of ways to access the music. The 'freemium' mode will allow unrestricted access to the service, but with two minutes of advertising per hour of music listened. A monthly payment of €4.99 version will remove ads entirely, while €9.99 will allow for syncing to tablets and other mobile devices.

Critics of the service have suggested that online streaming services like Spotify, Grooveshark and Deezer can undermine the traditional delivery systems of music, like radio and record shops, and will have a detrimental effect on the advertising landscape. In the UK, however, where Spotify is now in its 5th year, no tangible fallout has been noted.

Ireland is the 17th market in which Spotify has been launched, joining the US, UK, France and Germany, among many others. The company, which recently raised over $100 million in outside financing, will soon be competed with my Apple and Microsoft, who have both announced plans for similar services.

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