So here i am at work, happily listening to Spotify and suddenly it stops playing. I didn’t notice at first because i was taking calls and was in and out of meetings but when i realised i opened the player to find that it is effectively no longer free. I had used my 10 hours of free music up for this month and if i wanted to carry on listening, i had to upgrade to either the £4.99 or £9.99 service. This would give me unlimited music and no adverts but frankly, i was willing to listen to the adverts and dont want to pay £60 or £120 per year to stream music. You also have to sign up to all new T&Cs when you log in!
Spotify has changed, and not for the better! It originally opened to the public in October 2008 cunningly, as a ‘secret’ service which you could only get access to if someone invited you, unless you paid. In 2009 invitiations were no longer required, lots of new members joined and the service was funded by advertising. In April 2011, Spotify apprarently annouced that it would be cutting the amount of music a free member could listen to from 1st May 2011. I definitely did NOT get this memo. The limit is now up to 10 hours of streaming per month with a listener only being able to listen to specific tracks a maximum of five times. The clear goal is to push users towards one of the paid for subscription services, either Spotify unlimited or Spotify premium.
I am not actually surprised that the advertising model hasnt worked as i ran 3 different campaigns on Spotify last year and to be honest the response wasn’t great. Whilst the number of impressions was ok, the click through rates and sales uplifts were negligable.
However, speaking as a user and a customer, as opposed to a marketeer, it is disappointing and I for one, will not be buying a subscription. I can listen to my MP3 player for free or more likely at work, i can stream radio stations for free! So radio, here i come!