European music subscription service Spotify has been slowly making progress with labels. However, the thing that’s been derailing Spotify’s debut in the U.S. are labels’ concerns of giving away music for “free.” The argument has been that there isn’t enough of a turnover from free “all you can eat” accounts to the premium $10 account. Well now Spotify is making efforts to assure more users switch over to the paying account.
In a new posting on the service’s blog, Spotify CEO Daniel Craig announced that the company will be implementing plans to further limit free access in Europe. These changes, as summarized by Digital Music News, include the following:
1. Users will be limited to 10 hours of free listening a month, instead of 20.
2. No song can be played more than 5 times without a premium account.
3. Changes happen May 1st, and 30-day premium trials will be handed out during that month.
4. New users can enjoy Spotify as it is today for 6 months before feeling the changes. Those signing up prior to November 1st, 2010, will feel the changes now.
These changes, which will mainly affect Spotify’s Free and Open users, will be implemented in order to boost sales and convert more users to premium accounts, though will also surely please labels as well. However, the real question now is whether users will make the switch to premium accounts or opt to not use the service at all. Furthermore, will Spotify still be able to create strong interest in America with these new limitations on free accounts?
It should be noted that Spotify has only reportedly reached deals with EMI and Sony, leaving WMG and UMG. So it could still be a little bit until the service makes its debut. Although, these new changes will certainly help the negotiations.