Spotify set to restrict certain albums to paid users only

Spotify set to restrict certain albums to paid users only
Ok, guys, don’t take this too hard, but it’s very possible that Spotify will restrict some album releases to paying customers only, following handshakes at licensing negotiations with record labels. The Sweden-based company has been looking to build real profit on its quick growth, and the move is aimed at attracting investors’ attention, ahead of a much talked-about IPO. The music platform has been facing difficulties on the road to the stock market, as it struggled to get away from the ‘freemium’ spectrum and broke relationships with some artists along the way.

Many music labels and stars have complained in the past about the low monetization of their songs, with Taylor Swift pulling her work from the platform three years ago. Last year also saw chart-breakers, such as Rihanna, Beyonce, Drake, Kanye release their hits first on either Apple Music or Jay Z’s Tidal.

Nonetheless, Financial Times now reports that the company has struck a positive note with labels and will pay lower royalties for artists’ songs. But yes, the price of that, apparently, is a restriction on “biggest album releases” to paying folks only. Such a deal would immensely boost Spotify’s position in regards to an IPO and convince investors in the company’s ability to translate its business into a sustainable stock.

Even though its main competitor, Apple Music, has managed to bank 20 million paid users since June 2015, Spotify maintains an overwhelming lead and is valued at cool $8.5bn. Earlier this month, the company reached the 50 million mark of paying customers and looks on track to see net profits for the first time this year.

Spotify has declined to give FT any comments on the matter.

source: Financial Times via CNET

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25 Comments

1. bucky

Posts: 3794; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

This isn't a good idea. Don't split the community.

5. libra89

Posts: 2310; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

Yeah, I fear that this would happen too. I am paying for Spotify but primarily because Spotify on mobile is terrible. On a PC, it's fine. An ad here or there isn't a big deal.

6. vincelongman

Posts: 5745; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Apple has already split the music community with their exclusivity deals Spotify can't competitive with Apple's money without deals like this

7. bucky

Posts: 3794; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

Hate to break it to you, but this has been going on long before Apple...nice try though.

8. lyndon420

Posts: 6861; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

What's the benefit of being a paid subscriber? Do you honestly think that users who are too cheap to pay should have access to everything?

10. libra89

Posts: 2310; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

For me, the benefit is in the lack of ads, offline listening, and no more suggested songs on mobile. If I didn't care about using Spotify on mobile, I would be just fine with the free one.

13. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Thats one side of the metal Lyndon. The others side is you have two choice. give easy free access with ads or have user go back to download free hacked mp3. So your choice.. small amount of money or no money at all.

19. mrochester

Posts: 1033; Member since: Aug 17, 2014

The arrogance and entitlement of some people is just staggering.

25. lyndon420

Posts: 6861; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

It's the liberal/millennial mindset at work - the planet is doomed lol.

22. lyndon420

Posts: 6861; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

Lol...maybe you missed my sarcasm? I know the difference between the two and how they work...I just think it's sad and pathetic when people think they should get their music for free. Question: The free version relies on ads to generate revenue, but people need to click on these ads before revenue is generated - how many people actually click on the ads, and how many actually avoid them like the plague???

17. aroutis

Posts: 38; Member since: May 05, 2015

Spotify has a solid base of paying customers. Those will only get happier from a deal such as this. On the other side, non-paying customers, will now have something to think about.

12. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Its okay i just go back to using free mp3. Got a 256 gb sd card anyway.

24. lyndon420

Posts: 6861; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

Agreed. Eliminate the free option. If people want free music they can go back to using the radio.

2. Nebice

Posts: 68; Member since: Jan 05, 2015

welp the simplest way to have the music you want offline without restriction is still to buy the album and put the flac's on your phone. And to those that cry about not having enough music this way... i wonder how much you need i have bought about 35 albums and a few EPs in the past 12 years and i still dont get bored of my collection as there are often songs randomly selected you havent heard in a few weeks/months

14. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Even more simple way. download mp3 and flac directly from torrent lol.

3. nebula

Posts: 1009; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

This should have happened long time ago. People can afford restaurants, new clothes every month yet they dont want to pay $10 a month.

9. lyndon420

Posts: 6861; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

Can't argue with logic like that.

15. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Yes make it so thats i dont use spotify anymore and instead download free mp3 and flac from torrents lol.

20. mrochester

Posts: 1033; Member since: Aug 17, 2014

But that's because you are acting like an entitled douche.

4. lallolu

Posts: 733; Member since: Sep 18, 2012

Fair enough! I am actually a free user since I discovered I can listen to any song as long as I am willing to put up with some advertisements. Hopefully, they will not add advertisement to paying subscribers along the line.

11. Martin_Cooper

Posts: 1774; Member since: Jul 30, 2013

This is totally normal. Payed users should have more and more benefits anyway. Not to mention Apple doesn't offer free option at all as well as google music. The fact that you can have free streaming music with the biggest library and great apps across platforms says a lot about Spotify.

16. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Martin_Cooper thats bulls**t i am able to listen to free music anytime i want on google music whitout paying lol. but its okay i just go back to download flac and mp3 then.

21. mrochester

Posts: 1033; Member since: Aug 17, 2014

You're the kind of customer that these companies don't want anyway.

18. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

Meh, I only use Spotify for those once in a while occasions where a friend wants to listen to a song I don't have in my local playlist, or when I want to listen to a song I just shazammed and I'm considering to add to my local playlist. Other than that, local playlists FTW. That's coming from someone who's monthly carrier plan already has Spotify Premium covered for 2 years at no extra cost...

23. Junito

Posts: 145; Member since: Feb 12, 2012

Unfortunately for Spotify, if they go that route, they are going to lose subscribers. I realize ten dollars is nothing. However, in an era with PCs, torrents, and free dowlands, no way they'll survive. I won't consider people douche or intitled. Instead, i will make this point. You have generations that grew up with free radio and TV, now, your expecting them to pay. Hence, cable cutters, and pirating. On the other hand, telephones and cells have never been free, so is not a difficult transition to pay.

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