Multiple sources familiar with the matter have told Digital Music News that Spotify may soon be discontinuing its unlimited freemium access plan and will be limiting its free, ad-supported access to just three months. Spotify however is reportedly “disinterested in curtailing freemium at all”, and has advanced the idea that its freemium-to-premium migration path is working, the sources said.
Major labels Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment have proposed the three-month limit, according to the unnamed sources, which would allow existing free-access subscribers to continue their plans for 6 months, while new users would be limited to three months only. The three-month plan would also allow a number of artists and labels to extend past three months, if they so choose. Those artists would be grouped into ’emerging’ or ‘up-and-coming’ playlists, similar to an idea being drafted at Apple for its upcoming streaming service
Digital Music News could not ascertain whether superstar artists will be allowed to limit freemium access entirely. Previously, refusals by Spotify to allow paid-only access caused high-profile artists like Adele and Taylor Swift to walk.The seriously curtailed window is being presented as a ‘proposal,’ but one source pointed to limits on the “spirit of collaboration” being floated.
“This was drafted as a sort of compromise idea in mind,” one source described to Digital Music News, while also noting that “close observation” will determine if users are pushed towards premium plans more aggressively.
Earlier this month, it was reported that Apple may be using its power to stop the free tier of music streaming services, such as the one currently offered by Spotify.