Following its July 2011 U.S. release, the six-month promotional period for early adopters of Spotify Ltd.'s popular music service will come to an end next week. For all free account holders, this means a ten-hour monthly cap on free streaming and sharing. Spotify has offered unlimited free streaming and sharing and has some 10 million users worldwide and more than 2.5 million paid subscribers.
Free versions of the Spotify desktop app were initially invite-only; however, the company saw a huge spike in users once its software became downloadable via Facebook, thus eliminating the need for an invite. Subscribers can pay $4.99 per month for the unlimited streaming service with no ads, or $9.99 per month for the premium service, which allows users access via their mobile device, offline access to their playlists, as well as no ads and unlimited streaming.
Spotify also offers a free mobile app, available on iPhone, Android, Symbian, Windows Phone, Palm, and BlackBerry devices. The app allows all users to access their account, search for tracks, and sync music into Spotify from their phone -- there is no access to the Spotify music library or offline mode. Premium app services include streaming over Wi-Fi and offline access to playlists.