Millions of users may soon have to start paying to access Spotify music streaming. According to Digital Music News Spotify may soon put restrictions on its users to have free streaming only for the initial three months. After the three-month trial subscribers will have to pay for continued unlimited access to the music streaming service.
The move away from the freemium model may be due to pressure from Apple—both directly as a competitor and indirectly through the music industry. Apple is known for bringing innovation in its products and coming up with sound business strategies—even when those products and strategies are simply re-imagined versions of existing concepts. The company seems to have exceeded this standard in its attempt to reduce competition from potential rival Spotify for its upcoming music streaming service, which is expected to be unveiled at WWDC next month.
If it’s true it’s a victory for Apple, which has been trying for a while to limit the free ad-supported music streaming capability of Spotify. Though the three-month period of free streaming from Spotify is not exactly what Apple was trying for the company has still managed to get part of its wish—complete elimination of free streaming—fulfilled.
How Apple Tried to Restrict Spotify’s Free Streaming Service
Apple surprised the world last year with its acquisition of Beats. Since then it’s been rumored to be planning a high-quality music streaming service in the form of “Apple Beats Music” that can compete with current leaders like Spotify.
With Spotify offering free streaming to its users Apple stood little chance to enter the market competitively. Therefore, Apple kept pushing record companies to terminate their agreements with Spotify’s free streaming service on the basis of it not being profitable for the record companies. Reports also claim that Apple tried to highlight the treatment meted out to the artists featured on Spotify as unfair.
Unrest Among Record Companies and Mainstream Artists
Around 60 million people use Spotify’s streaming service. Out of these only 15 million users pay every month, leaving aside untapped revenue from the remaining 45 million Spotify users. This concerned some leading artists featured on Spotify as well as popular music recording companies like Sony Music Entertainment and Universal Music Group.
Spotify’s likely move to drastically reduce its free music streaming service is a direct effect of the dissatisfaction that record companies and music artists have shown.
What Does It Mean for Apple?
With this restriction, Apple may have scored key points on the business front but it remains to be seen whether the tech giant will be able to convince users to switch to the upcoming Beats Music service. It’s likely that Apple won’t offer a free service for music streaming and will opt for a free trial period similar to what Spotify is reportedly implementing.
With the current popularity of Spotify it’is clear that music lovers prefer the free option. Also Apple may not have won the hearts of consumers with the aggressive move to undermine Spotify’s free service. So there may still be a greater chance of consumers paying for Spotify’s unlimited streaming service after the first three months instead of enrolling in a new paid service from Apple.
Are you ready for Apple’s music streaming service, or is Spotify your favorite? Do you think Apple can take over Spotify’s empire?