Spotify cuts back on free musicSpotify halves users' free streaming allowance

15 April 2011

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Spotify announces changes to free music services.

Users of Spotify's free music service will see their monthly music streaming allowance halved and limits placed on the amount of times they can re-play a track. 

Spotify today announced changes to the free areas of its music streaming service, significantly reducing the amount of music users can listen to each month and how frequently they can listen to the same tracks for free. 

Previously, users of Spotify's Free and Open services were able to listen to 20 hours of free music a month. However, the recent changes will see free users' listening halved to 10 hours per month and track plays limited to just five listens per track in total, not per month.

The track limit will take effect from 1st May, but new free subscribers will not be subject to these limits for the first six months of their subscription.

Want to find out more about Spotify's free or paid-for services? Visit our Spotify advice pages on the services available and how to stream music and create playlists on Spotify.

Restrictions may drive away users

The announcement has, unsurprisingly, triggered a stream of comments on Spotify's blog. More than 2000 posts were made within the last 24 hours - some in support of the changes, but many posting their farewells to the service.

There are fears that the move will drive people back to pirate music sources. The free Spotify services intersperses music with advertisements to generate revenue. But with users potentially leaving the service due to the new restrictions, the service is likely to prove less popular with advertisers as the audience dwindles. 

Spotify USA

This isn't the first time Spotify has made the news this year. Earlier this year it announced that it was planning to launch a Spotify service in the USA. However, development delays has meant the service isn't available yet.

Find out more about listening to music and podcasts online with our Which? guide to online radio. 

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