Written by Jourdan-Reiss Russell
Spotify has announced a controversial new plan to fragment the free and premium userbase. Since its inception, the free and premium users of Spotify had access to the same library of music, with the caveat to using Spotify Free being forced advertisements and the inability to save and download playlists and albums. Now, however, Spotify will put artists such as Kanye West, Taylor Swift and Beyoncé behind a pay wall; something these artists have already done either by releasing platform-exclusive albums or by going on record to express disdain over how much money is gained from streams.
The Financial Times reports that only the paid users will have access to the “biggest album releases” for an unspecified amount of time. The aim is clearly to urge as many free users to upgrade to premium as possible, though its effectiveness has yet to be seen in platforms such as Soundcloud, which recently introduced a premium tier with similar intention. While this does not bode well for the vast majority of Spotify users, the Financial Times report stresses that this is “with the caveat that nothing has been signed and talks could again stall”.