Update at 4:41 a.m. PT April 14: As first reported by CNET, Spotify is setting new limits on free music. According to a post today on the company's blog: as of May 1, people who signed up for the free service on or before November 1, 2010, will get access to each track for free up to five times. People who signed up after November 1 will see these changes applied six months after the time they set up their Spotify account. Total listening time for free users will be limited to 10 hours per month after the first six months. (CNET's original story from yesterday is below.)
Spotify is considering a plan to further cut back the amount of free music it offers to users and is expected to impose new limits perhaps as soon as this week, sources with knowledge of the plans told CNET.
Spotify, the online music service that has attracted more than 10 million users in Europe in part by offering free-of-charge access to millions of songs, may cap the number of times users can listen to the same song and limit the total number of hours that existing users would have access to its free service, the sources said.
Last May, Spotify capped access to free music for the first time. As part of an offering called Spotify Open, new users were given 20 hours of free song listening per month. If they wanted more they had to upgrade to Spotify Unlimited, which offers all-you-can-eat listening for a monthly fee.
Whatever changes Spotify makes would go into effect sometime in May, said the sources. A Spotify spokesman was not immediately available for comment. … Read more