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Spotify goes invite-only

Spotify has returned to being a closed service, requiring an invite to sign up as a new user. But how do you get invited?

Spotify has returned to being an invite-only service in the UK, apparently due to enormous demand since launching its amazing mobile version.

When the music-streaming service first launched, invites were required to sign up. The UK was the only country to no longer require an invite for a free account, up until today. Fortunately, Twitter and our CNET UK forums were -- and still are -- awash with spare invites, you lucky people.

If you're after an invite, sign up to the waiting list, or, even better, head for Twitter, as many early adopters still have virtual pockets brimming with invites. In fact, just this morning, this Craver was wondering when Spotify was going to get rid of the banner displaying how many invites were left. Maybe the reinstatement of invites has always been a fall-back plan for the Swedish company.

More likely, however, is that it's a money-spinning exercise. Spotify seems to be the last to realise that the free account is too good to be true. Of the massive numbers of people who have signed up across Europe -- the service isn't yet available in the US -- a relatively small number have paid-for premium accounts. Signing up for a £10-per-month premium account doesn't require an invitation.

If you're wondering what this Spotify business is all about anyway, check out our complete guide.