Free invites to music streaming service Spotify are changing hands for as much as £5 on auction website eBay, Which? has found.
Recent publicity for the service has seen demand for Spotify intensify with people willing to pay anything between 99p and £4.99 to get a free pass to listen to music on Spotify.
Spotify’s free service used to be open to the general public but, due to excessive demand, the company was forced to limit free accounts back in September 2009.
Spotify Premium service
To gain access you now need an invitation from a someone with a premium subscription which costs £9.99 per month for no ads and access to Spotify on your iPhone or Android device.
Premium account members receive two new invitations each time the account is renewed (yearly or monthly, depending on the payment method).
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Listings on eBay show traders selling the Spotify free invites for anything from 99p to £4.99. One eBay trader has already sold 36 Spotify invites for £2.99 each netting nearly £140 profit from the free passes.
Free music streaming
Which? Computing editor Sarah Kidner said: ‘Spotify’s success has led some to try to profit from the music service. We’d advise consumers not to buy a free pass on eBay but instead to try other streaming services such as We7 and Napster Free.’
A spokesman for Spotify told us: ‘We are aware that invites have appeared on eBay. The invites come from premium subscribers who are given two to share each month, generally they are shared with friends or family.
‘We wouldn’t suggest that anyone purchase an invite from eBay or elsewhere as you never know if you’ll get a valid one that will work.’
Spotify officially launched in 2008 giving music lovers access to a catalogue of approximately six million songs including some rare music.
Spotify claims it has more than two million users in the UK, and more than six million across Europe. A US launch date is yet to be announced.
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