Internet music streaming service Spotify is to limit some of its music to Premium tier subscriptions as it comes under more pressure from record labels. However, it will continue to provide a free, ad-supported offering according to sources.
Spotify to limit free music…?
Some of the tracks available on Spotify may in future be limited to paying Premium customers only, either permanently or temporarily, according to Digital Music News today. The restrictions have yet to be determined, but it might be the case that a free listener may only be able to hear a popular album for a limited time or just a couple of songs from it.
The change is likely to happen in early 2016, says the publications. This would give Spotify ample time to work out licensing deals and also update its web, desktop and mobile players.
The sources said that the company is under pressure from the three largest record labels – namely Sony, Warner and Universal, as the October 1st renewal deadline approaches. The CEOs of Sony and Universal have apparently said they oppose ad-based free tiers as they devalue the music catalogs and generate less revenue.
In the past, free music has been one of Spotify’s main selling points. But the company’s boss Daniel Ek apparently hates the idea of restricted content, but might be forced to make a compromise.
The EU recently cleared Apple of colluding with music labels against free services, but they and the US Federal Trade Commission are concerned that app store policies may be stifling competition.
The exact changes to Spotify’s products is not yet know, but it’s likely that some changes will be necessary in the not-too-distance future…