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Spotify to set limits on free music streaming

Spotify to set limits on free music streaming

Published: 14 Apr 2011 13:19 GMT+02:00
Updated: 14 Apr 2011 13:19 GMT+02:00

"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," Spotify co-founder Daniel Ek wrote in a blog post.

The new limits, set to go into effect on May 1st, will limit users to six months of free, unrestricted access to Spotify's catalogue of songs.

After the six-month introductory period, users will be limited to ten hours of free listening per month, and will only be able to play any individual track a total of five times.

The changes have the greatest impact on heavy users who use Spotify's free service to discover new music, according to Ek, pointing out that such users currently listen to about 50 new tracks every month.

"The average user won’t reach the limit on plays for 7 out of 10 tracks, even after a year," said Ek, who went on to encourage users who may reach the new limits to consider moving over the Spotify's fee-based services, which won't be affected by the changes.

Ek said the restrictions on Spotify's free service were necessary to "continue making Spotify available to all in the long-term" but emphasised that the company nevertheless saw its free service as "vital".

Launched in in 2006, Spotify is one of the world's largest streaming websites boasting over one million paying users.

The service allows users to stream music to their computers for free in exchange for listening to advertising.

Users can also pay 49 or 99 kronor ($7.75 or $15.70) to gain ad-free access to the service.

The 99 kronor version allows users to listen to their playlists offline and to access their music through their mobile phones.

In his blog post, Ek also mentions "awesome new features" are in store for Spotify in the coming months as well as "exciting developments" to be revealed in within a few weeks, a possible reference to the long-rumoured launch of Spotify in the United States.

According to the TT news agency, Spotify's free service has been a stumbling block in the protracted negotiations involved with bringing Spotify to the US market.

The changes announced on Wednesday may help ease discussions, thus paving the way for Spotify to establish itself in the United States.

The Local/dl (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

14:17 April 14, 2011 by StockholmSam
I pay 49kr per month for the middle level option and absolutely love it! Best investment I have made all year.
15:34 April 14, 2011 by tes85
restricting spotify - hypothesising an increase in illegal downloading
15:40 April 14, 2011 by sliver
Hmm...looks like its back to good old youtube.
18:18 April 14, 2011 by Mib
It's fair as someone has to pay the artist, albeit a small amount if you believe the reports. Spotify has reinvigorated my enthusiasm for music and has led me to several new artists, I may have never discovered without Spotify.

It's also a great way to listen to new albums to see if they're worth buying.

The response to pressing the button to play a track to hearing it is virtually instant at near CD quality is amazing. While there are other competitors outside Sweden, their streaming quality is inferior.

People will download illegally regardless of whether Spotify change their terms or not. If you're lazy like me, I would continue to use Spotify and not bother with the likes of Pirate Bay. However, I decided to sign-up and taken advantage of the local cache on the iPhone and laptop. There's also a mass of amazing playlists people share out. All in all a great service, which works really well.
21:37 April 14, 2011 by jacquelinee
Not a problem..there are lots of others with no restictions. They are only decreasing their own popularity.
22:56 April 14, 2011 by superturbo
Sure, go ahead. I don't use their lousy service nowadays anyway... There are quite a few better options out there.
15:35 April 15, 2011 by bo13do
freeee sms !!

http://www.talksms.com/cat/1.aspx/KG6H8

try it !
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