Today saw Spotify announce that as well as reducing Spotify Open users to 10 hours of free advert supported streaming music per month versus the previous 20 hours, it will also more importantly for me only allow the same track to be played 5 times. As someone who listens often to my favourite discoveries over and over this is a killer of a restriction.
My Previous Experiences
Years ago I came across the original Napster music sharing service and found myself discovering new music I would not otherwise would have heard and something strange happened – I actually started to buy more music on CD. Perhaps this was guilt on my part for using the service as I have never been a supporter of illegal file sharing. However since Napster days things have changed and I rarely find myself buying music on CD unless it is cheaper than a legal download.
When the original Napster closed down I found myself no longer buying CDs. I used iTunes briefly which let me listen to clips before buying each track, but I was not impressed with the DRM and the bloated software. I also briefly used the now defunct Sky Songs, a web based music streaming service which I found impressive but too costly for my ‘now and again’ dip into the service.
Then I came across Spotify after seeing articles about the launch of the Spotify Open 20 hours per month advert supported service. During my first sessions I was impressed with the library of music and that the service was free. I immediately looked for a Spotify Free invite invitation that would remove the 20 hours per month time restriction. However my despair at the time restrictions were premature as after the initial gorge of music I found myself not actually listening to 20 hours per month.
You Have Me Hooked
In one way Spotify has me hooked in that I want access to those tracks I listen to again and again. And this is where the new issue arrives. The new restriction only allowing the same track to be played 5 times. Now I can understand business decisions behind this move – there is little to be gained from users like me repeatedly listening to the same tracks and not subscribing. As I’ve said I’ve never been a fan of downloading illegally and this is not going to make me do this.
The Paid For Serice
In the past I have tried both the Spotify Premium and Unlimited services. I loved the ability to stream music through my HTC Wildfire but actually did not use it enough to justify the cost. I used the cheaper Premium service when I got sick of a particular advert for the moment, but for what I use it for £5 is too much.
Spotify is a music service I enjoy using and have had few complaints. The changes it is making are unfortunately not going to make me a regular paying subscribing member. I understand that I’m not a target customer for Spotify, not spending anything and often listening to my favourite discoveries over and over again. I will still keep visiting and searching the music available as it’s still a good way of finding new music and finding long forgotten gems. For now I think I’m going to have to go and buy some of my ‘Starred’ favourites in never expiring old style file format – unless the CD is cheaper!