Spotify is now taking further steps to limit free access in Europe, a move designed to convert more premium users, boost profitability, and satisfy label concerns.
“Above all, this means we can continue making Spotify available to all in the long-term,” Spotify CEO Daniel Ek relayed early this morning (midday from Europe). Here’s a quick summary of the changes…
(1) Users will be limited to 10 hours of free listening a month, instead of 20.
(2) No song can be played more than 5 times without a premium account.
(3) Changes happen May 1st, and 30-day premium trials will be handed out during that month.
(4) New users can enjoy Spotify in its current form for 6 months before feeling the changes. Those who joined prior to November 1st, 2010, will feel the changes now.
In a blog entry this morning, Ek identified heavier Spotify users as a chief target of the changes. “The changes we’re having to make will mainly affect heavier Spotify Free and Open users, as most of you use Spotify to discover music – on average over 50 new tracks per month, even after a year,” Ek described. “For those of you using Spotify to find new tracks to enjoy and share with friends, these changes shouldn’t get in the way of you doing that.”
And of course, Ek added that Premium and Unlimited users would not be affected.