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Spotify: If you’re not on the list…

Proving to be masters of building a start-up in a messy, crowded field, the teases at Spotify have withdrawn free accounts – unless you have an invite from another user or pay £10 a month.

It makes brilliant sense. They initiated their fame by turning a technical restriction (limited ability to cope with new users) into a viral marketing explosion, restricting early sign-ups to those invited by friends. Then they opened the doors and allowed the accumulated publicity to drive widespread public adoption. Now, with the iPhone app such a compelling service, they’ve closed the doors again to the uninvited – unless you pay for the premium service and app. With their current momentum, they should be able to start reaping proper revenues to pay for it all.

Chapeau!

PS I earlier criticised Spotify for not running in the background on the iPhone. The more technically minded might find this useful for getting round that.