Music streaming service Spotify has slashed the number of hours it will allow subscribers to listen to from 20 to 10 hours, beginning on the 1st of May. Despite boating 10 million users in Europe, the company keeps delaying its launch in America as rumours keep swirling that it is yet to make a profit and may indeed be bleeding like a stuck pig.
The new restrictions will see new users able to access the free service as if for six months up front. After the 1st of May, those who signed up for the free service before November 2nd 2010 can play each track for free up to 10 times in total. New users who signed up after that time will see the changes kick in after six months, with listening time for freeloaders limited to 10 hours a month once the six months is up, which is roughly around 20 songs or 200 albums.
The aim is to push users to pony up for the paid subscription service which Spotify desperately needs to make record companies want to come to its party. Spotify co-founder Daniel Ek says “People are listening to more music and from a wider range of artists than ever before, and are giving up on piracy, which is exactly what we hoped would happen.”
While his thoughts are noble, it remains to be seen whether users won’t simply migrate to the plethora of other free streaming services out there, or simply keep downloading for free.