If you’ve heard friends talking (and Tweeting) about Spotify but aren’t quite sure what that is, here’s the tea. Popular in the UK for years, Spotify is a music sharing service that launched in the US about two weeks ago. Unlike Pandora, which allows you to design ”stations” inspired by an artist, song or genre, it allows listeners to play songs on demand AND create playlists that can be accessed from mobile devices. The free version allows you to listen to ten hours of music a month (with up to five plays per song); you can purchase songs or access playlists while offline and extend your listening for a fee. You may also share your music with friends thanks to Twitter and Facebook integration.

The catch: for now, you have to get an invite to join. Companies, such as Coca-Cola, have been participating in campaigns which allowed people to request Spotify accounts through their websites. You may also get an invite from a friend or request one directly from the site.

Founder Daniel Ek (who is only 28) launched Spotify in his native Sweden in 2006; it has 1.6 paying subscribers and predicts there will be 50 million US users within its first year here, according to CNN. He says his long-term goal is to make “all” of the world’s music available through the service, not just Western recordings.

Request a Spotify account here!



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