Spotify sets 10 hour per month limit on free music streaming

By on April 14, 2011, 11:00 AM
Spotify has announced it is cutting back on its free music streaming service in its latest attempt to lure consumers to upgrade to one of the paid options. Starting on May 1, anyone who signed up before November 1, 2010 will be restricted to 10 hours of listening time per month, half of what's currently offered, and will only be able to play each track five times. Those who signed up after November 1 will see these limits go into place six months after their sign up date.

The company announced the move in a blog post today while touting the service's popularity in Europe: "People are listening to more music and from a wider range of artists than ever before, and are giving up on piracy, which is exactly what we hoped would happen. So it's vital that we continue offering an on-demand free service to you and millions more like you, but to make that possible we have to put some limits in place going forward."


The company's ad-free Unlimited and Premium services will remain unaffected and throughout May the Spotify Premium free trial will be extended from seven days to 30. Unsurprisingly, some users were taken aback by the news and have threatened to switch to competing services like Grooveshark or simply go back to piracy. A lot of them are also supportive of the move, though, claiming Spotify is well worth the $5 or $10 monthly fee.

Spotify is working hard to make its way to the U.S. and has reportedly already signed deals with EMI Music and Sony Music Entertainment already. Some speculate that the decision might have come as a condition from U.S. music labels to launch in that territory, but of course the company is not commenting on such claims.



User Comments: 5

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example1013 said:

Yeah, I use Grooveshark anyways.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I wonder across the board what the success rate of cutting back on previously free options on sites like these is in getting users to upgrade to a paid version, vs users leaving. I would think that more successful websites would just offer enough premium content to get people to want to pay, rather than essentially forcing them to pay in order to keep previous functionality.

"people are cutting back on piracy"...so now we're going to start charging them, cause they obviously forgot how to pirate music in the first place. So they'll probably pirate those few special songs they like to listen to over and over again, and keep the free service for the variety.

yRaz yRaz said:

I haven't pirated music in a long time. Then again, there isn't any new music worth listening to.... I think that this is kind of silly, though. Not like the artists see any money from the record sales, they get their money from doing shows. I hate record labels. Give me an album for the price of a song($0.99) and then I'll buy it. People have made abundantly apparent how much they are willing to pay for music. The record labels don't accept that so they pay lobbyists to help pass legislation in their favor.

Guest said:

Groveshark is ok but Rhapsody is better since you can download as much music as you want to mp3 players and your phones for $10 a month plus every song is good quality. No other service I found has as many compatible devices and phones yet. I find it funny how freeloaders threaten to leave..All you are doing is costing the company money...do you think they really care...lol

Omnislip said:

Guest said:

Groveshark is ok but Rhapsody is better since you can download as much music as you want to mp3 players and your phones for $10 a month plus every song is good quality. No other service I found has as many compatible devices and phones yet. I find it funny how freeloaders threaten to leave..All you are doing is costing the company money...do you think they really care...lol

Spotify is exactly like that... Unless you are US based, but hey.

Anyway, I was wondering if anyone knew whether this affects the original accounts, before they set in place the larger streaming limit for new users?

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