Bye bye, Spotify!


UPDATE (19/03/2013): Spotify have finally removed the 5 play limit. I applaud this decision, and it’s certainly a step in the right direction, but a 2.5 hour a week limit is still too draconian.


As most of you have probably heard, Spotify last week implemented their new restrictions as detailed back in April cutting both Free and Open users down to 10 hours of listening per month, coupled with a 5 play limit (forever?) on individual tracks.

As a previous Spotify Premium user, having sent precisely £100.89 Spotify’s way, you’d expect me to applaud these changes. Well I don’t. And I’m gonna tell you for why…

First off, let me get one thing off my chest…

The ridiculous 5 play limit

Seriously? If this was a limit per week or even per month I could understand that, but after hitting this limit 2 days after finding a new song that I absolutely love and now never allowed to listen to it on Spotify without coughing up for Unlimited or buying the track it left me with a bitter taste in my mouth. The part of this that really gets my back up is that Spotify’s blog post seems to suggest that people that hit this limit aren’t using the service correctly:

“the average user won’t reach the limit on plays for 7 out of 10 tracks, after a year of using Spotify.”

Interestingly, Spotify quite conveniently links with Last.fm, and as I don’t have regular MP3s scrobbled, let’s have a look at my top 20 most played tracks in the past year…

# Track Play Count
1 Pendulum – The Island – Pt. II 43
2 Rusko – Woo Boost 28
3 Far East Movement – Like A G6 26
4 Swedish House Mafia – One (Your Name) [feat. Pharrell] {Radio Edit} 25
5 Vika Jigulina – Stereo Love – UK Radio Edit 24
6 Professor Green – Just Be Good To Green (feat. Lily Allen) 23
7 Martin Solveig – Hello 22
8 All Time Low – Lost In Stereo 21
9 Pendulum – The Island – Pt. I 20
10 The Pogues – Fairytale of New York 19
11 Stromae – Alors on danse 19
12 The Isley Brothers – Summer Breeze 18
13 Yolanda Be Cool – We No Speak Americano 18
14 Afrojack – Take Over Control 18
15 Wiz Khalifa – Black and Yellow 18
16 Phil Collins – In the Air Tonight 16
17 Chris Rea – Driving Home For Christmas 16
18 Manic Street Preachers – If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next 16
19 Genesis – Living Forever 16
20 Pendulum – Witchcraft 16

You actually have to keep going to my 168th most played song before you can find one that has been played less than 5 times, so if this had been applied last year, my top 167 songs would simply be unavailable on Spotify.

While I will concur that some of my listening habits are not quite “regular” (I’m not sure how I managed to listen to The Island Pt. II 43 times!) I know of plenty of people who will listen to the same songs quite often, sometimes twice or three times in a row if it’s a new song they love, and with Spotify’s playlist function, it becomes very easy to listen to the same song multiple times.

10 hour listening limit

It’s not enough. Seriously, 10 hours can be gobbled up pretty damn quick, I used to use Spotify at work, so in one day I could have potentially used up 80% of my montly listening quote. While I’m not asking for 200 hours a month to get me through work, I think they could have offered more than they are.

Pricing

Please don’t instantly shoot me down with “pay up or shut up” comments, as I did, for nearly a year. Why did I cancel? Simple: I didn’t think I got my money’s worth. £10 a month is a lot in this age of cost cutting and recessions, so when I actually analysed my usage of Spotify originally, I found that I just didn’t use the Premium services enough to justify the £10 a month cost. I would however consider Premium if it was at the current Unlimited price point of £5.

So what am I going to do without Spotify?

Use Grooveshark. I paid $30 for a year of Anywhere before the prices went up, but even with the prices at $9 a month it’s still nearly half the price of Spotify. Sure, the interface isn’t as slick, some tracks have a lower bitrate and the mobile app still needs a bit of work but it’s got a much more realistic price.

In closing

The door is always open Spotify, so if you decide to make your Premium service more competitive, I’ll be willing to re-join, but at the moment, as one of the early adopters, I feel a bit betrayed.

“Everyone Loves Music”. So long as you only want to listen to it 5 times.

Spotify Invites

Update: Blimey that was quick! All gone for the moment, I should have a couple more on or around the 17th June. If anyone wants to post any more on here in the meantime in the comments, feel free!


I thought I’d add these here. I get 2 a month for being on Premium, these are for Spotify Free, simply paste in the invite code on that page!

NB: These will only work in countries where Spotify is available, currently: Sweden, Norway, Finland, the UK, France, Spain or The Netherlands.

If it doesn’t work, try the next one in the list. I’ll add more as I get them each month and cross out the used ones!

  • dGnbudxmugu3yYVX
  • b4W95Dd3W4FYHBGt
  • aNsRyhfVgJghkchw
  • ceGx8DSDSNYWTPz6
  • e4bdXPyMqCChcs57
  • fAkn4BdqB9HPgEL8

All gone (01/06/2010).

Enjoy!

James.