Spotify is reportedly considering a big change that could affect millions of people who use its free service.
Digital Music News‘ Paul Resnikoff, the streaming music service might start to limit the music its non-paying users can access. For instance, in the future you might only be able to stream a a couple of songs off of a new album if you don’t pay for a $US9.99 per month Spotify subscription.
The change could happen as soon as early next year, Digital Music News reports.
Limiting access to music on its free tier and moving to the model described by Digital Music News would be a huge shift for Spotify.
Right now, non-paying users can listen to any artist, album, or playlist on the service, but they have to listen in shuffle mode — they can’t choose a specific song to listen to. They also have to sit through occasional ads.
People who pay for a Spotify Premium subscription don’t have to listen to ads, can play any song they want, store music on their devices for offline access, and also have the option to listen to higher quality audio.
Around 20 million of Spotify’s 75 million worldwide users pay for the service. Giving paid listeners exclusive access to a new album or hot single would be an obvious attempt to get more people on the subscriber bandwagon.
Spotify hasn’t decided on exactly what it wants to do with a gated access model yet, Digital Music News reports. But the writing is on the wall: the service needs more paying subscribers, and an obvious way to get people to upgrade to the paid serrvice to put more restrictions on the free version.
Spotify did not immediately responded to Tech Insider’s request for comment Monday morning.
Check out the Digital Music News story for more details of what Spotify’s changes could mean.
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