Spotify dials down free access to music

Free users face limits after six months...
Written by Shelley Portet, Contributor

Free users face limits after six months...

Spotify users can only listen to a track five times for free from 1 May

Spotify users can only listen to a track five times for free from 1 May, according to new terms of servicePhoto: pixelbully

The days of unlimited free access to music on Spotify are over, as the music-streaming site announces changes to its terms of service.

The changes mean that after six months of being registered to Spotify, users will only be able to play a single track for free five times.

Additionally, after six months of free usage, visitors will have their listening time limited to 10 hours per month. According to a Spotify blog post announcing the changes, this limit is equivalent to about 200 tracks or 20 albums.

Any user who signed up for the free service on or before 1 November 2010 will experience these limitations from 1 May. People who signed up after this date will see these changes applied six months after the date on which they created their account.

The Spotify blog post said the changes will only affect heavier users of the music site and that most free users will not notice a difference.

According to the blog, the average Spotify user does not reach the five-plays-per-song limit on seven out of 10 tracks after a year of using the service, because most use Spotify to "discover new music".

However, the blog post went on to encourage users to download a free trial of the Spotify Unlimited and Premium services, suggesting the site is using the changes to push for more paying customers.

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