Spotify halves listening time for free accounts
Spotify is cutting back its free service to 10 hours a month.
The free, ad-supported version of the streaming music service currently offers 20 hours a month; to get unlimited music, users must pay up for a subscription.
Under the plans, new users will be able to listen to as much music as they’d like for the first six months. Then, they can play a song up to five times in total, and listen to up to 10 hours’ worth of tracks a month.
Any users who signed up more than six months ago will have the limits come into play from 1 May.
“The changes we’re having to make will mainly affect heavier Spotify Free and Open users, as most of you use Spotify to discover music – on average over 50 new tracks per month, even after a year,” said CEO Daniel Ek in a post on the Spotify blog.
“Plus, the average user won’t reach the limit on plays for seven out of 10 tracks, after a year of using Spotify,” he added. “For those of you using Spotify to find new tracks to enjoy and share with friends, these changes shouldn’t get in the way of you doing that.”
Ek didn’t specifically say why the free service was being limited, but suggested it was becoming too popular, saying “this means we can continue making Spotify available to all in the long-term”.
The paid-for subscriptions also include additional features, such as an offline mode and listening via a mobile device.