Spotify removes the invitation-only lock in France

[France] Spotify is no longer invitiation-only in France. The streaming music startup now lets anyone register, but for some reason – probably to make sure you actually live in France – they’ll allow you to register only by verifying your phone number first.

The company says it’s now because they are sure they can “maintain the quality of service for many users.”

Despite scepticism from TechCrunch that Spotify is going to have a tough time launching in the US, it seems to be on its way to rolling out across Europe, at least.

The news is going to come as body-blow to its main French competitor, Deezer, which has been going through all sorts of problems lately.

They blogged (Google translation) today that :

Spotify now available for all in France

February 1, 2010, 15:26

Starting today, if you live in metropolitan France, you can freely subscribe to our free service, Spotify Free.

Why open now? After several months on invitation, we are sure we can maintain the quality of service for many users.

To register is easy – simply visit the page on Start and enter your mobile number. We will send you a code to enter on the same page and you can instantly create your Spotify account.

This will allow you to take a first step towards innovative musical experience that offers Spotify Premium: music on your mobile, even without Internet connection, anywhere in the world, with better sound quality and uninterrupted for 9,99 € per month. (I want to know more about Spotify Premium)

Your phone number will be used only to send the SMS containing the registration code. Spotify is making this free mailing.