If you are in the UK and you are a Spotify user who doesn’t pay any subscription fees then we have some good news for you.
According to the excellent music industry blog Musically, Spotify will today announce that it is canning the restriction that it has in the UK which prevents people on its free service from playing an individual track more than five times.
The controversial move was introduced in 2011 but has since been lifted in many European countries. However the time limit for free users – which is ten hours a month in the UK – will remain.
As Musically reports this is a curious line for Spotify as there are several countries in the world – namely the US, Australia and New Zealand, that have no time cap at all.
So is the removal of the five track limit the first step in making Spotify a completely free online service with ?
I wonder if this is all down to business models. The company is experimenting with different models in different territories to see how effective they are. In the US, where they is huge competition from the likes of Pandora and others, Spotify needs to make things as simple and free as possible, However in the UK and other European countries where it is a clear market leader the music streaming service can afford to be a little more aggressive in the tactics it uses to get users to upgrade to the paid for service.
Ideally Spotify would probably like to remove all restrictions across the globe to ensure that it stays a market leader, but whether this id is financially prudent remains to be seen.