Spotify: New limits placed on listeners on October 14th

If you haven’t heard of or used Spotify recently then you are seriously behind.  Spotify started out as a free music service that was available to international users and on July 14th of this year, took the US by storm offering the best free music listening service to date.  Their deal with Facebook pushed them past competitors such as Last.fm who were trying to create a music driven social network.  Their edge came because it was a free service that gave you unlimited plays where services like Last.fm cost money.

Unfortunately, it was too good to be true.  Today, if you logged into Spotify to listen to your favorite tunes, you were asked to accept the new terms and conditions and I’m sure many of you just hit “I Accept” without reading it.  That click of acceptance will change how much you’ll be able to listen to tracks and ultimately how you’ll be able to use Spotify.

Basically, there are four different ways that you can access Spotify.  The version that most people had was the free version with ads where you could listen to whatever you wanted without the commercials.  That version now has listening limits placed on it after you are a member for six months.  After that, Spotify will impose “a cap of 10 listening hours per month and a cap of 5 plays per unique track.”  Lame.  I always wonder how Spotify made enough money to make all of those artists and distribution companies happy when it came to royalties but now it’s apparent that they are trying to push people towards purchasing the premium version of Spotify.  But, honestly, can you blame them?  It must require an incredible amount of resources to run a service like this and I seriously doubt there is any way that they can sustain themselves unless they begin to bring in more revenue.

So what does this mean for the user who loves Spotify?  Right now, if you haven’t had your account for six months, (which it hasn’t been available in the US for over six months yet) you won’t see any changes.  However, once you hit that six month marker, your functionality of Spotify will capped at 10 listening hours per month.  If you really don’t want that cap, you can try one of the other four “flavors” of Spotify.  They also feature an advertisement free version where you pay either a monthly or yearly fee, an advertisement free version where you pay a monthly fee which also features an offline mode where you can listen to certain downloaded songs while offline (which I’m sure are encrypted and not available for you to just keep), and finally a paid version where you have completely unlimited access which also supports your mobile device.

Which one are you interested in?  Do you think you will pay for Spotify in the future or will you simply use it less?  Feel free to comment with your thoughts and opinions and what you, the Spotify user, will do about the new terms and conditions.

5 Responses to “Spotify: New limits placed on listeners on October 14th”

  1. shortie October 14, 2011 at 8:25 pm #

    They announced this the 6 months of unlimited listening then a cap over a month ago. As well these are same terms that they have had on the service in the UK. So no real surprise on the updated terms.

    I love spottily and used even before it came to the us. When i was in the UK last nov i set up an account and enjoyed the service. I love spotify. More then pandora. Because i get to choose where my discovery goes… not where there player thinks it should go. Come spring when my free period ends I will pay for spottily. As soon as my income become more stable I will get the premium on. I like the amount the catalog and ability to share early with friends. supporting a company like spottily is a easy choice.

    • jasoncastellente October 14, 2011 at 11:31 pm #

      You’re totally right. I believe when they made the announcement, which was a quiet one at that, they didn’t really give a timeline as far as I saw. So, I figured it was something they’d do eventually or potentially even something that might not happen. I can’t say I’m surprised either. I just wanted to blog it to make everyone aware since practically no one ever reads their terms and conditions.

      I do love Spotify. The only other thing I might use that even comes close, would be Grooveshark. In my opinion, Pandora isn’t even on my radar anymore. It’s super old school haha. I’ve been using Google Music Beta and certainly won’t pay for that because it stinks. It always seems like whenever we all find something good, it gets killed one way or another. Look at Lala.com…or even Hulu when Hulu plus came out. We’ll have to see what happens with Spotify…

      • shortie October 15, 2011 at 2:03 pm #

        As soon as it popped up. I read through it to see what was changing. You are totally right people do not read ula’s and have no idea what they are agreeing to.

        I think the jury is out on lala because from the sounds of it. It is the heart of the iTunes match.

        And hulu plus is a mess… because by paying you would think you get everything, but some things are not available to you when signed in to hulu plus which is mind boggling. And what is up with fox and there 8 day waiting period. If i miss a show you want me to mis another one before i can catch up…. broken.

  2. Diana October 17, 2011 at 4:04 pm #

    I love spotify. I bought their premium subscription and I’m going to try it out for a month. I love how seamless it is and how it doesn’t mess with my computer- Mac or Dell. We used the droid app on the drive up to NYC…. seriously. No complaints other than it drains my battery lol

    I may stick with the premium service. Blows Grooveshark, Pandora, and iTunes out of the water IMO.

  3. TL October 17, 2011 at 4:34 pm #

    Hey man. Great article. You brought up a very good point about being able to sustain something uncapped and totally free like that. Question though: does that only affect the version with just ads and no commercials? What happens to those who have both ads and commercials?

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