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The Final Countdown: Spotify Caps Listening Hours

All music lovers will be sad to hear the news that Spotify is cutting back on its availability to free users.

The ultimate music streaming service paved the way for legal music sharing and reduced music piracy online. But news announced on the Spotify blog confirms that big changes are being made to the service.

The popular music streaming website will now reduce their service. Spotify account holders who use the ad supported free service will have their listening hours capped.

Anyone who has signed up to use the free service before 1st November 2010 will be limited to 10 hours of listening per month and this new cap comes into effect on 1st May 2011.


Users who signed up after November will be able to enjoy the first 6 months with unlimited listening hours and all the features that the current free version offers. The 10 hour cap might not sound like much but it’s the equivalent to 200 tracks or 20 albums.  In order to fully max out your 10 hour limit you would have to listen to 5 albums a week: so you’ll have to choose them wisely from now on!

You will also have to be selective on how often you want to hear a particular song. The current free service would let you listen to it over and over until your heart’s content, however with the new changes you will only be able to listen to your favourite tune  up to a total of 5 times and this applies to each track on your playlist.

Spotify claims that that the average user won’t reach the limit and the changes should not prevent users from sharing and discovering new music.

“Rest assured that we’ll continue to bring you the biggest and most diverse music catalogue available.” Said founder Daniel Ek on the blog post.

If you are one of the 1 million paying subscribers then don’t worry, the changes mainly affect Spotify Free and Open users. However the news has sparked a backlash as users have already voiced opinions on returning to illegal music piracy.

One comment said “So long Spotify. It was nice knowing you. Guess I’ll go back to pirating music again then.”