Spotify cuts back on free music to please big record companies

Online music service Spotify is halving the amount of free music that users can listen to.Users of its free service will be limited to 10 hours per month, half the time currently offered and will only be able to listen to tracks five times, from May.New users will get six months of free content before the changes kick in.The news has angered fans who accuse the firm of seeking to change its model from free to paid.This is something denied by Spotify. see:Spotify’s limits on free use will please the big record labels
It’s obvious, innit? Spotify’s announcement that it is going to limit free use on its music streaming service (although not for users who pay) must mean one of three things:

This may provoke some headscratching for those unused to the strange ways of the music industry, where when the talk is not of how wonderfully Adele’s new and old albums are selling, then it’s about which territories the music is licensed in. Because music is treated just like books, which are also licensed for sale in different territories – despite the fact that music long since ceased relying on physical incarnations. (Books aren’t exactly troubled by them that much now, but the physical incarnation still has advantages.)To put it bluntly: Spotify is cutting the amount of free music people can listen to in order to please the American labels with which it is agonisingly negotiating to try to get permission to launch in the US. The fact is that the labels there – and for that matter in Europe – don’t like Spotify allowing people to listen to so much music for free (even though Spotify pays them the stipulated amount per track, whether the customer is listening for free or on a paid subscription). is forced to halve its free music allowance
The music streaming website Spotify, which offers listeners unlimited free access, is to restrict the amount of songs that users can play without paying. From 1 May the service, which has six million users in Britain and Europe, will reduce the amount of free listening available from 20 hours a month to 10.Non-subscribers, who use Spotify’s free, advert-supported option, will only be able to listen to a particular track a maximum of five times.

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