Spotify has initiated new restrictions for users of its free plan in India, altering how they can engage with the music streaming service. The company is imposing limitations on the free plan, including the ability to control the song order and shuffle functionality. This strategic move is part of Spotify's effort to convert a significant portion of its ad-supported free-tier userbase in India into paying subscribers.
In a recent update reported by Music Ally, Spotify has introduced changes that restrict access to music for users on the free plan. Users are no longer able to disable the "Smart Shuffle" playlist feature, play songs in a specific order, or use the traditional shuffle function without a Spotify Premium subscription.
Beyond modifying track order, Spotify is also preventing users from "scrubbing" tracks. Once a song begins playing, users can't navigate to specific parts of the track or rewind to the beginning without a Premium subscription. Even playing a song on repeat now requires a Premium subscription.
These new restrictions have been widely implemented over the week, leading to user complaints on social media platforms like X (formerly known as Twitter) and comments on Spotify's Instagram posts. Gadgets 360 has confirmed that these limitations are in effect on the latest version of Spotify for Android.
According to the Music Ally report, India ranks among Spotify's top five countries in terms of monthly active users. Although a relatively higher percentage of Indian users opt for Premium subscriptions compared to other regions, the Indian market is not one of the most profitable regions for Spotify.
In India, users have the option to purchase auto-renewing Spotify Premium plans starting at Rs. 119, or they can choose prepaid plans that begin at Rs. 129. The former offers a slightly more cost-effective monthly option, while the annual prepaid Premium subscription presents a considerable discount at Rs. 1,189, in contrast to the free plan, which would cost Rs. 1,428. Additionally, Spotify provides smaller plans that start at Rs. 7 per day.
This strategic move is part of Spotify's effort to convert a significant portion of its ad-supported free-tier userbase in India....
October 16, 2023