Spotify Lifts Streaming Restrictions For Free Users
By Steve West 2014-01-16 08:37:22
Spotify is defined by limitations, but the music streaming service has announced that will all change as restrictions for users are being removed. The service has always been a treasure trove of music, and is a top competitor to Pandora. But users have had to deal with a lot of restrictions, many of which pop up out of nowhere. You have to read a lot of fine print to realize that your Christmas party is going to go silent when you’ve reached your monthly streaming cap.
You do start to see the limitations quickly once you try and use Spotify on any device, which required a subscription. That restriction has already been lifted. Even better is listening to the new Yeezus album a few times, then you go and try to listen only to discover you’ve reached the limit on how many times you can listen to an individual track. After which you sit in silence and contemplate what a dick Kanye is, especially in light of his insightful lyrics, and then you decide to run through all your plays of Metallica’s “Of Wolf and Man.” Most likely the limits have to do with the fact that Spotify is notorious for not paying artists what many feel they deserve. Although, no one cares that radio can play what they want thanks to deals made decades ago with the recording industry. Internet streaming services need to integrate themselves into the industry as the promotional tools they can be.
Essentially Spotify is going for a more Pandora like model, but with no limits on the desktop with how much you listen. Of course, this brings up the question of: What about paying subscribers? As far as can be discerned, the advantage is not having to deal with ads. But honestly, are the brief ads that show up on Spotify worth you paying a monthly fee? It has to be assumed that Spotify has negotiated an advertising deal that helps pay for the service much more efficiently. They’re certainly not doing this out of the kindness of their hearts, and they can’t possibly pay artists any less.
Premium subscribers were given access to multiple devices with a single account, higher quality sound quality, and other perks. It would seem that the only noticeable advantage is now no ads. This would seem to indicate Spotify is OK with losing a large percentage of their subscriber base, although it’s more likely that the majority of people who currently pay won’t even know this has happened. It’s difficult to know exactly how the lifted restrictions will work, or even if they’re truly lifted or just raised far higher.
My biggest problem with Spotify has not been the restrictions, that’s something I’m used to with internet services, which eventually learn that limits hinder the growth they’re looking for. No, I always hated trying to find just what to listen to when I wasn’t in the mood for a particular album. Most of my Spotify usage is devoted to comedy albums.