Fans of the music streaming service Spotify could see the app become more geared towards its premium subscribers. The Wall Street Journal are reporting that Spotify is ready to give into pressure from the music industry and not make all albums available on the free subscription of the service.
According to the report, Spotify plan on running a test on the restricted service, they will then evaluate what happens to its subscriber base and also to the free service. Spotify have reportedly told music executives that it will allow artists to start releasing their new albums to only the 20 million-plus subscribers who pay for the service, and not the 80 million-plus who use the free service.
This issue was raised last year when Taylor Swift wouldn’t allow her new album to be made available to the free subscribers, therefore she pulled all her content from the service. At the moment artists have to agree to allow their music be made available to Spotify’s free users, along with its paid subscribers.
There has been no confirmation of the report from Spotify itself but it has long been rumoured that Spotify could do something along these lines for a while.
This could be seen as a positive for both Spotify and the music industry, which it is trying to please, who see services such as the paid subscription of Spotify as the way forward for the music industry. It is estimated that 80% of Spotify users are using the free service and putting up with the advertisements, however if Spotify do decide to not make new albums available on the free service, how many of those will pay for the subscription.
If Spotify do introduce these changes it will be interesting to see how many will go to the paid service, leave the service altogether, or just use another service to hear the latest album from their favourite artist.
Spotify currently costs €0.99 for new customers for the first three months and is then €9.99 a month thereafter. There is no rumoured date for the introduction of these restrictions in the article, but with rumours becoming more frequent about changes to the Spotify service it is only a matter of time before changes are introduced in 2016.