According to a new report, Spotify is planning on making its free tier a lot less appetizing in the hopes of assuaging major labels and getting more users to pony up and pay for its premium service.
Digital Music News quotes "several sources" who claims that Spotify "will soon be shifting towards a premium-only, ‘gated access’ model."
What does this mean, exactly? Well, the sources aren't even sure – as it's still being hammered out. But it could mean that Spotify cuts off access to some of its content – unless you pay for premium.
As of now, Spotify's free-tier users still have access to everything. Sure, there are ads and users have to listen to albums in shuffle mode – but nothing is off limits, really.
The report suggests that Spotify could block access to certain high-profile releases – maybe offer free users only a few songs from a new album.
Or, in another scenario, free users' access to certain tracks could be limited to a strict window.
The same publication quoted sources in May who said that Spotify was bowing to pressure from the big labels and planning on limiting its free tier to a three-month trial. That report said that new Spotify users would be limited to three months of free, ad-supported listening. Existing free tier users would have a six-month grace period before being forced to upgrade to a paid tier.
Of course, that's not happened. This new report seems like a less drastic version of that – as Spotify is clearly looking to boost its paid customers.
Last month Spotify hit 20 million paid users and 75 million total active users, meaning 55 million free tier users stand to be affected by any decrease in streaming access.
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