Is everything all right at Spotify? News that the music streaming service has reverted to being invite-only – just days after the much-heralded launch of its iPhone app – is deeply puzzling. It's a bit like Arctic Monkeys releasing 'Humbug' – then a week later saying, Wait, hang on, it's not finished, can we do that again?
But there is another, more troubling possibility: Spotify has a cashflow problem. As New Media Age point out, Spotify pays record labels per stream – it's not much, about half a penny per track – but any sudden spike in users would cause a corresponding hike in the site's costs.
Aside from the obvious question of "who gets that ha'penny per track, you still have to wonder where even that ha'penny is coming from. Advertising??Wasn't that entertaining and informative? Why not share it around the web?