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Spotify launches unlimited free music days before launch of Beats Music

Spotify launches unlimited free music days before launch of Beats Music

Spotify

Spotify has launched a completely unlimited free tariff just days before the launch of expected rival Beats Music.

Previous versions of the company's ad-supported free option limited you to a certain number of hours listening per month once signed up for more than six months. Now all restrictions have been removed allowing for continuous ad-supported playback.

The move comes just a few days before the high-profile launch of Beats Music, a rival service that is expected to make quite an impact on the market due to the kudos of the brand. It is being launched with a lavish marketing campaign that includes promotional deals with AT&T and Ellen DeGeneres, and an advert during the Super Bowl is also expected - traditionally one of the most lucrative advertising slots in the whole American market.

Spotify has long been the leader in its segment due to its generous free tariff options attracting a large user base, and the removal of this final restriction is likely to see another upsurge. While this may cost the company money in the short term, the logic is that long term users will eventually pay for the service.

With the opening up of its free service there are now just two options for Spotify users, with the free option offering access from any device but with ads while the £9.99/$9.99 pre month paid for option offers ad-free listening with the option to download tracks for offline listening.

19 Comments

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DriftCarl 16th January 2014, 14:42 Quote
AS long as they keep screwing UK users with inflated prices then I wont be using their service.
I know the number looks cool, but $9.99 a month is not the same as £9.99. We are basically paying almost 40% more for the same service.
gabe777 16th January 2014, 14:49 Quote
Not strictly true as US standard of living is higher than us... this equates to the abilty to buy a similar basket of goods in the US for $10, as you can in the UK for £10.

Over here, you can get a curry and a pint for 10 quid... pretty much the same as in the U/S for 10 bucks.
Combatus 16th January 2014, 15:02 Quote
For less than the cost of a new album each month I don't think it's too bad a deal really. Being able to stream at 320kbps, sync playlists across devices and download the songs for offline, plus I've found so many awesome songs using Spotify Radio...
GeorgeK 16th January 2014, 15:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DriftCarl
AS long as they keep screwing UK users with inflated prices then I wont be using their service.
I know the number looks cool, but $9.99 a month is not the same as £9.99. We are basically paying almost 40% more for the same service.

Loads of stuff in the UK is similarly 'overpriced' compared to the US - a GPU that costs $250 never costs £160 over here (that's a XR of just under £1=$1.60 btw) - does that mean that you never buy any of that either?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Combatus
For less than the cost of a new album each month I don't think it's too bad a deal really. Being able to stream at 320kbps, sync playlists across devices and download the songs for offline, plus I've found so many awesome songs using Spotify Radio...

This basically - I like the fact that you can subscribe to playlists and get the updates automatically as they're changed :)
toolio20 16th January 2014, 15:08 Quote
Hey man, that's built-in overhead to pay for upkeep of the vitally important monarchy and to prevent delicious guns from sneaking their way into the interior - certainly you'd agree a paltry handful of farthings and half-crowns is worth it to preserve these grand national traditions, wot?

Actually, where you're really getting f****d is with this whole "quota" business - it's been unlimited in the colonies for ages...
r3loaded 16th January 2014, 15:14 Quote
So they're returning to how their free offering used to be? I dumped them when they introduced the 20 hours/month limit and didn't look back - YouTube offers me free music streaming with far less intrusive adverts and CDs still offer lossless quality music.

Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk
Fantus 16th January 2014, 16:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by r3loaded
So they're returning to how their free offering used to be? I dumped them when they introduced the 20 hours/month limit and didn't look back - YouTube offers me free music streaming with far less intrusive adverts and CDs still offer lossless quality music.

Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk

Same here. This is how it was when I first signed up but I couldn't be bothered with it once they put the limits in place. I may pick it up again now.
monkiboi 16th January 2014, 16:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Combatus
For less than the cost of a new album each month I don't think it's too bad a deal really. Being able to stream at 320kbps, sync playlists across devices and download the songs for offline, plus I've found so many awesome songs using Spotify Radio...

So, you can download the tracks now? That's much better than it used to be. Personally I was never happy paying a monthly fee for something that I lost access to once I decided I didn't want the service anymore - the same with adobe cc.

I do suspect that they'll do the same as before when all free users were forced onto a restricted plan, once things settle down.
do_it_anyway 16th January 2014, 17:00 Quote
Before we start the ripoff britain debate again, please can I ask you to remember that US prices are always BEFORE TAX. UK prices are after.
So $9.99 actually costs an american about $12 when it comes out if their bank account.
And that $250 GPU actually costs the buyer around $300, which is £200, which is not that far off what we would pay.

OK, so its still a slightly better deal, but its not as great as all that.
DriftCarl 16th January 2014, 18:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeK


Loads of stuff in the UK is similarly 'overpriced' compared to the US - a GPU that costs $250 never costs £160 over here (that's a XR of just under £1=$1.60 btw) - does that mean that you never buy any of that either?

Not at all, a GPU is a physical asset, it needs shipping, stocking, repackaging ect and the manufacture is often based in another country.
Spotify is a UK company now with a HQ in London. So why are they charging us way more for the service.
It is because we are all mugs and let them.
mi1ez 16th January 2014, 20:58 Quote
Well, this is a sensible idea. How they could expect anyone to get a feel for the service with the limitations is beyond me!
mi1ez 16th January 2014, 20:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by toolio20
Hey man, that's built-in overhead to pay for upkeep of the vitally important monarchy and to prevent delicious guns from sneaking their way into the interior - certainly you'd agree a paltry handful of farthings and half-crowns is worth it to preserve these grand national traditions, wot?

Cracked me up!
erratum1 16th January 2014, 21:04 Quote
Tried spotify premium a while ago thought it sounded rubbish.
pilsner72 16th January 2014, 21:56 Quote
Xbox music is a quid cheaper.
theshadow2001 16th January 2014, 22:04 Quote
I've checked the price here and its €9.99. Thats a bit lower than £9.99. The VAT rate here is 23% versus 20% (I think) in the UK. So that makes things even worse. Frankly its hard to justify the regional price differences, especially on a digital streaming service.
Star*Dagger 17th January 2014, 01:30 Quote
Still stunned that there are so many LEMMINGS who will pay for content that is free.

Wake the frack up people. Never pay for content. If you like their music and they are still around pay for a concert/opera/performance, NEVER ever for dead copy.

Yours in Literally Liberating Lemmings Plasma,
Star*Dagger
markwalker84 17th January 2014, 10:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Star*Dagger
Still stunned that there are so many LEMMINGS who will pay for content that is free.

Wake the frack up people. Never pay for content. If you like their music and they are still around pay for a concert/opera/performance, NEVER ever for dead copy.

Yours in Literally Liberating Lemmings Plasma,
Star*Dagger

^^^ Moron.

Anyway, I couldn't put up with Spotify's reliance on playlists. Especially on the mobile app where it is just a horrible experience in my opinion.

I want to and use a library to organise and play my music, with the ability to "add to my shuffled now playing list" etc.

Google Music does this brilliantly for the same price.

Not looked back since I switched.
pilsner72 17th January 2014, 17:11 Quote
Just managed to get Spotify for £4.99 a month even cheaper.
Faulk_Wulf 20th January 2014, 16:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by do_it_anyway
Before we start the ripoff britain debate again, please can I ask you to remember that US prices are always BEFORE TAX. UK prices are after.
So $9.99 actually costs an american about $12 when it comes out if their bank account.
And that $250 GPU actually costs the buyer around $300, which is £200, which is not that far off what we would pay.

OK, so its still a slightly better deal, but its not as great as all that.

In Nebraska, US the sales tax is about 7%.

So $9.99 after tax is: $10.69~ The reason that we don't have our tax written into the price, I presume, is because each state can have it's own tax, and each city/etc can levy an additional tax if the city pays for it. (In my rural hometown in Iowa, there's an additional penny-per-dollar, and the money goes (supposedly) exclusively to the schools. (That hard drive would be around $267.50)

I've never used Spotify though. I use iHeartRadio and Rdio for most of my music, and YouTube for more obscure genres and artists. If I buy music outright, then it is usually on CD so that I can rip it and use it how I like. I don't buy digital because I have yet to find a DRM Free Lossless option. I'm not a massive audiophile, but if I'm going to buy it, it might as well be in the best quality. My only grip with Rdio, and I don't know if this is true of all streaming surfaces, is that sometimes labels (and artists) will pull their music.

Supposedly, and possibly truly, the streaming services don't pay the artists a decent fee per track. I know Spotify went through this. But when they posted the formulas, in the particular article I read, it looked like they paid out fairly, but that the labels simply ate up 90% of the revenue. I think it's sad I can't stream artists like Tool and the Black Keys simply because their labels screw them over. (In this day and age I really don't know why you'd still sign with a label honestly.)

Though since it's free now, I might as well see what Spotify is like now.

/end pointless ramble.
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