P2P music streaming startup Spotify has removed the “invite only” barrier from its streaming music service in the UK. Till now it’s been keeping growth in check with an invite-only subscription method. Since it started in Sweden it has that market pretty much sown up, although, bizarrely, it remains invite-only in Sweden. But invites have been spreading across the planet like wildfire for this very simple to use service. And others are using it whether they are in the UK or not.
However, it has even warned users that if it can’t take the traffic it may put the invite-only hurdle back in place. “We want to make sure that everyone who uses Spotify gets the same fast, uninterrupted experience so providing a stable service is our priority,” the company says on its blog. “If growth happens too fast and it starts affecting quality we may have to re-instate the invitation system, hopefully this won’t happen.”
The service has licensing deals with the Big Four record labels (EMI, Warner Music, Sony BMG and Universal) and other smaller players. It’s P2P client streams in Ogg (quality equivalent to 192kbps MP3) instantly with no delays. The business model (for the free version) is unskippable ads every 5/6 tracks but a monthly subscription wipes these out.
Spotify has wowed users with its catalogue but as the service has grown it’s started to attract more interest from the music industry and not in a good way.
As one users comments on their blog: “Just like to say, i’m using spotify less and less since you’ve been removing music constantly. 50% of my playlists are now gone.”