Spotify goes live in the U.S., free service is invite-only for now

By on July 14, 2011, 9:42 AM

Spotify has officially gone live in the U.S. this morning after many months of rumors and speculation. The popular music streaming service has been available in several European countries for years, but the lack of licensing agreements with major record labels in the U.S. had kept it from hitting the other side of the Atlantic until now.

The offer is the same as in Europe, for the most part: $5 per month gets you unlimited, on-demand access to over 15 million songs, while the $10 monthly plan adds offline storage of tracks and lets you use the Spotify client on your mobile device (the Spotify iPhone app is now available in the U.S. App Store). You can opt out of either plan at any time.

There's also a free, ad-supported option in case you want to test the waters first, and it comes with unlimited streaming as well -- unlike the European offering, which was recently capped at 10 hours per month. Unfortunately for now the free option is in an invite-only beta phase so you'll have to get your email in the queue and be patient.

Four months ago, the service passed the 1 million subscriber mark, making it the biggest paid music service in the world. Besides offering instant, lag-free access to a huge music catalog, the service is also popular for its social features, which let you share tracks with friends and subscribe to the playlist of other Spotify users. It's also available on a number of third party audio devices through partnerships with Sonos and Logitech.

User Comments: 5

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lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

If somebody tells me why should I use Spotify instead of Grooveshark, I might switch.

example1013 said:

Spotify is cheaper, for starters.

Guest said:

However Grooveshark is also free, and contains more songs than Spotify. Spotify will most likely (as it has been in Sweden and other European countries) be free for a period and suddenly they will limit the Free edition greatly.

Here, Free used to only contain ads in between some songs but now Free is limited to playing a song 4 times before it is locked and 10 hours/month of listening time.

Grooveshark is free and contains no audio-adds.

Guest said:

Well if I compare Grooveshark to Rhapsody....I like Rhapsody better because all songs are same HIGH quality....On Grooveshark many of the songs are bad quality and are just songs people uploaded. Also is Grooveshark really legal...I highly doubt it.

tehbanz tehbanz said:

Hey, im a huge spotify fan, it's got all of my old and obscure music which a lot of music services don't offer! I have had 2 free european accounts using proxies and if anyone has done the same you can easily get in to spotify US without an invitation here's how. this also works still if you create a NEW euro account.

Login to your euro account, go to your profile edit page, and change your country from UK to US, and that's it!

Have fun

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