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Spotify to start dropping invite-only, will offer 6-month trials (Update)

spotify-founders-logo-650x439Spotify’s making some moves lately to grab new users. In addition to the announced partnership with Facebook at F8, the Swedish-founded music streaming service may be dropping the exclusive, invitation-only barrier and will be setting up a six month trial period.

Boasting over 10 million users in Europe, Spotify’s launch in the US was eagerly anticipated earlier this year. However, those who didn’t want to shell out the $4.99 for subscription were cast off into invite-only land. Now, according to TechCrunch that may have all changed. Spotify’s CEO Daniel Ek says the the invite-only hassle will be getting dropped in the US.

“For music to be inherently social it needs to be an open model, and that’s why we decided to do it today,” Spotify representive Angela Watts stated.

Unpaid users, both internationally and in the United States, will have no barriers to using the services. Members will have to sign in to their Facebook account in order to circumvent the need for an invite.

Once the six months expire, free users will most likely lose offline playback and have to suffer through ads. Free limits users to a monthly playback allotment of 10 hours, so be wary that using the Facebook Spotify app will count to that limit. If you decide that the service is worth paying for, Spotify has a $4.99 ad-free plan and the $9.99 premium.

Spotify made its debut in the US earlier this year on July 14. Once it landed here, 1.4 million joined the service in less than a month with more than half paying for subscription. Recently, Pandora revamped their website and removed the 40-hour listening limit to keep up with music streaming competition it was facing.

Update. A spotify representative sent over an email clarifying the new service offer:

“All Spotify accounts come with a 6-month time-limit honeymoon! During this time, there’s no limit to the amount of ad-supported music you can enjoy. After 6 months, you’ll be limited to 10 hours of streaming a month and a 5-play limit for any individual track. Unless, of course, you’ve subscribed by then!”

For European users still in their first six months of free service, you’ll get moved to the unlimited free product for the remainder of your six months. After that six months, the usual limits will apply.

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