The music streaming service Spotify launched in July here in the US after a successful earlier launch in Europe back in 2008. However, US users could only access Spotify via an official invite. This week, Spotify announced that the service is now available to everyone in the US without the need for an invite. The news came on the same day that Spotify announced a deal with Facebook that integrates the service with the social networking web site.
People who first sign up to use Spotify will be able to listen to an unlimited amount of music for free for the first six months. After that period is over the amount of free music on the site is limited to just 10 hours per month. Spotify makes its money by generating ads on its site for its free users as well as two subscription plans. For $4.99 a month you can listen to an unlimited amount of music on the site with no ads. The $9.99 a month premium plan gives subscribers access to Spotify's music both offline and online along with being able to listen to music via downloadable smartphone apps for iOS, Android and other devices.
In related news, Business Insider reports that Spotify claims to already have 2 million paid subscribers here in the US. The info came from Spotify's CEO Daniel Ek in a pre-recorded interview with the CNBC business cable TV network. The service reportedly has 10 million total users here in the US, both free and paid. By contrast one of its big rivals, Rhapsody, has only 800,000 paid subscribers.