Upcoming changes to Spotify Free/Open

Spotify’s aim from the very beginning was to make music on-demand available to all. To give you the power to listen to, discover, share and manage your music the way you want to – simpler, faster, better – while making sure the artists whose music we all love continue to see the benefits as we grow.

Making Spotify available to millions across Europe has seen the service become incredibly popular. People are listening to more music and from a wider range of artists than ever before, and are giving up on piracy, which is exactly what we hoped would happen.

So it’s vital that we continue offering an on-demand free service to you and millions more like you, but to make that possible we have to put some limits in place going forward.

Here’s how the changes will work:

  • New Spotify users will be able to enjoy our unrivalled free service as it is today for the first 6 months.
  • As of May 1st, any user who signed up to the free service on or before November 1st 2010 will be able to play each track for free up to a total of 5 times. Users who signed up after the beginning of November will see these changes applied 6 months after the time they set up their Spotify account.
  • Additionally, total listening time for free users will be limited to 10 hours per month after the first 6 months. That’s equivalent to around 200 tracks or 20 albums.

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. Plus, the average user won’t reach the limit on plays for 7 out of 10 tracks, after a year of using Spotify. 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. Rest assured that we’ll continue to bring you the biggest and most diverse music catalogue available.

For anyone who thinks they might reach these limits, we hope you’ll consider checking out our Unlimited and Premium services, neither of which will be affected, plus we have a 7-day free trial for Spotify Premium that we’d love you to try. Throughout May, we’ll also have a pretty nice 30-day free trial for Spotify Premium – more details on that in the next few days.

Above all, this means we can continue making Spotify available to all in the long-term. We’ll be bringing out some awesome new features as well as significant improvements over the coming months, which will make the Spotify experience even better.

Thanks so much, as ever, for your unbelievable support and I hope to come back with some exciting news in the next few weeks.


Update: Some users may have difficulty posting comments to our blog as we are experiencing higher than normal traffic volumes. Your feedback is important to us and we are working to restore full access to our website.


  1. what are the adds for then? you’re not getting enough money from the ads to keep it free? this is a step back :/

  2. I supposse paying for Premium is a great thing to do. What a pity I’m 14 and my family needs that pathetic ammount of money to eat. Spotify, you were the best but, money and greed is over everything. You had made a great favour to music but… not anymore. It was a honour to meet you.

  3. This is what Spotify is about. I use the free account to discover music and then I go out and buy the albums.

  4. Spotify just lost a helluva lotto ad revenue, i wonder if it was worth the reduced server traffic…

  5. I used to rave about Spotify and the great thing’s you were doing. You’re turning your back on the principles you stand for and the amazing reputation you earned. It’s a real shame.

  6. I knew this would happen, I am not surprised. All program start as free, but when people become fun of it, thats the point when they turn it all for money.

    But Don’t worry Guys, many program like spotify will come as free. They are just telling us that it is time to fine new one. Who cares?

  7. Farewell Spotify, I would rather pay to own than pay to stream. Streaming will be YouTube for me now.

  8. Bye Spotify, i’m going back to Piracy and playing all my songs offline, no more ads or limited time, you can barely listen to 2 songs without an ad now adays, its just better to leave this shithole.

  9. erm k thx bai bai spotify, nice knowing you ^_^ http://www.grooveshark.com click click XD there are other ways to get free music, spotify is just a legal version, so is youtube, so is groove shark so i recon spotify will regret this change f.f.f.FAAAAAAIL 😀

    k thx bubai spotify, go die in a hole 😀

  10. and another thing, just to point out to most ppl , i reccon spotify is now looking for profit as opposed to just breaking even and having a stable business plan. HELLO< FACEBOOK ONLY JUST STARTED PROFIT IN 2010 >W< you really should have given it time to expand before you went and fagged it all up lol ach well, back to CD’s, mix tapes and such hahaha

  11. well i dont know about the free advert version ot working.
    in 2009 they made a 19 million loss
    in 2010 they made 64 million in profit.

    greedy twats anyone lol

  12. someone else will dig out this niche in the market and not be greeedy and want to go to america where they make you pay for everything. so bye spotify have to say im disappointed in you.

  13. I don’t use spotify often but when I do I listen to 1 song over and over again; I’ll have to buy the song…. it will still be cheaper than an account

  14. I would definitely pay for it if they would sort themselves out and get spotify on BlackBerry.

  15. Loved it … but Nothing lasts forever. Maybe Spotify will say it too in a time. As advice: Without users, problems with scalability are gone!! I’m already looking for alternatives.

  16. Adios Spootify. Suerte con tu andanza comercial. Una pena pero ya nadie nunca más escuchará tus anuncios…

  17. Man, that’s so sad, I loved Spotify. Heard that Grooveshark was pretty good though.

  18. like this you payback our time, dedication and altruist promotion to our friends for you??

    Really thanks :-((((((((((


  19. Ok, that was it for me. Spotify, thanks but be prepared to loose thousands of customers. You will never get them back if this decision is not cancelled.


  20. Anyone thinking of going for the premium account (£10) check out Napster instead (£5) before you take the plunge…