When Spotify arrived in the U.S., there was such fanfare that one part of the rollout plan was largely ignored. That free Spotify playback on the desktop enjoyed by so many users was only set to last for six months, and next week is Spotify’s six-month anniversary in the U.S. market. When that sweetheart licencing arrangement is up, free Spotify accounts are going to be much more locked down.
The current unlimited playback with ads is going to be reduced to a maximum of 10 hours per month. Users will also only be allowed to queue up a single track five times in a month. Anyone that wants to keep listening to unlimited tunes will have to upgrade to one of the paid accounts. $5 a month gets you unlimited music on the desktop, and $10 per-month is required for mobile access to Spotify.
Spotify has experienced scrutiny for its small payouts to independent artists, Facebook tie-in, and licensing deals. It’s unclear if the free listeners will be willing to pay for access to something they got for free these last six months.