January 17, 2014
Ad-Supported Spotify Users No Longer Have A Time Cap On Their Music
Enid Burns for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
Music service Spotify just removed time restrictions from its ad-supported members, who do not pay for a subscription. The latest news builds on the December announcement that Android and iOS users would get free songs on the Spotify app.
In a follow-up to making the service free on mobile apps, Spotify has announced in an blog that it is now free for users on their computers.
"In the past, we had to restrict your listening time to some hours a month once a 6-month unlimited grace period had passed. But now, if you haven’t noticed, there’s no more time limit if you are using Spotify for free. We have removed these caps completely across all platforms – you can listen to your favourite songs as many times as you like, for as long as you want," wrote Diego Planas Rego, on the Spotify blog.
The limits were previously placed on the free, ad-supported service, while paid subscribers were previously able to listen to unlimited Spotify music. In the past, free web users were granted a six-month grace period of unlimited music, but after the time period ran out users were restricted to just a few hours per week, TechCrunch reports.
"Spotify's advertising engine and paid customer conversion funnel are finally working well enough that today it eliminated all limits on free, ad-supported web listening in all countries," TechCrunch's Josh Constine wrote.
Spotify is working to make itself accessible across all platforms. The mobile service added in December that it allows users to listen to unlimited music by shuffling songs, but does not allow on-demand song choice. The new changes help make Spotify more competitive against Pandora.
Constine noted that Spotify has been growing in popularity, reaching 26 million users and six million paying subscribers. The company also raised $250 million in November.
Another competitor, Rdio, still limits users to a limited number of streams for up to six months. After that time period, users will have to pay for the service to continue listening to Rdio, Ars Technica reports.
"Spotify did not appear to have this streaming limitation when it launched in the US in mid-2011, so the restriction lift is a return to its old format. The company recently tried to clarify how it pays artists who put music n the service after years of accounts of paltry per-stream returns," Ars Technica's Casey Johnston wrote.
The company grew its base in Europe, and has been building its US market since 2011, The Washington Post reports.
"What’s prompted the change of heart? Part of it may be that the company, which came to the U.S. market in 2011 after seeing strong success in Europe, has reached a point in its growth where it can support moves like this to expand its footprint. But the company is also seeing new competitors that are directly challenging Spotify’s unique claim to music lovers’ hearts — its extreme approach to personalization", wrote The Post's Hayley Tsukayama.