In order to make Spotify happen on US shores, the company needed to make a few compromises; namely, listeners could only tune in to the ad-supported free version for 10 hours a month, half as long as the 20 hours a month European listeners got. If you wanted to keep listening after that, you needed to pony up the cash for a $5 or $10 subscription plan. That’s about to change; starting today, new Spotify users can listen to unlimited amounts of ad-supported music for their first six months.
The clock is retroactive to the time a listener signed up. The new program comes in the wake of Spotify’s headfirst dive into social media in the form of a collaboration with Facebook, a union that was announced at yesterday’s f8 conference. It’ll take effect internationally as well as in the US. After your six month trial is over, you’ll apparently revert to the 10 hour a month streaming limit unless you decide to plunk down change for a premium option. Beware: the music you listen to in Facebook will count towards your free Spotify listening limit once you're back on the 10 hour plan.
In addition, TechCrunch reports that Daniel Ek, Spotify’s CEO, told them that the US invite system is getting the boot – at least for Facebook users. To be fair, it was an invite system in name only; for the past couple of months, anybody who requested an invite immediately got one in their inbox. Starting soon, if you sign up for Spotify while logged into Facebook, you can bypass the annoying extra step altogether.