The big question that everyone's been asking Spotify since it launched, other than "how are you going to make some money?" is "when are you going to launch in the USA?".

The Observer newspaper has revealed that founder Daniel Ek told them that he's hiring employees and seeking office space for a launch in the US in the "third or fourth quarter" of 2009. That isn't far off, by our reckoning, and could be timed to match the 1-year anniversary of its UK launch in October last year.

However, Ek admitted - as he has before - that his company might struggle for profitability before the end of the year. "We still hope to do that, but given the recession and so on, it might take a little longer. It may be next year". He's confident: "Why would I go to the US and try to get more extensive licences if I had trouble covering our costs in Europe?".

In the States Spotify will face fierce competition from Microsoft's yet-to-be-launched streaming music service as well as companies that operate only in the US, like Pandora. However, Spotify is still eagerly anticipated.

We'll bring you more details of the launch when we get them.