Spotify revamps the Free and Open options

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Spotify is a revolutionary service which has done most things right. A great native, desktop application and a companion iPhone/Android/other smartphones app makes it the most tasteful music streaming service from my point of view. It’s been quite controversial offering users free and unlimited streaming of almost all music in the world, if you were willing to put up with a few ads. Up until now. One of the co-founders, Daniel Ek, posted on the Spotify blog that the Free and Open options will see some changes effective May 1st. These changes doesn’t affect new users – the ones who has set up their accounts on or after November 1st – for another six months. Free or Open accounts created before November 1st will be able to play each track in the catalogue for free up to 5 times, and the total listening time per month will be 10 hours. Sounds shocking in the sense that Spotify has always been completely free with the Free options since it launched, but I completely understand and encourage Spotify’s decision. They need income, as every other company. Sure, you get lots of goodwill and good karma from regular people who just wants to listen to music for free, but where’s the profit in that? Ads can’t pay everything. They’re still keeping the Free option, of course, but a little bit stripped down to lead people into the Unlimited or Premium options. Seriously: 50-100 SEK per month isn’t a big deal for unlimited music. Today’s news certainly pushed me to upgrade.