Spotify is testing a less restrictive ad-supported tier costing $0.99 a month

‘Unlimited skips and on-demand listening’ for $0.99 a month.
Screenshot: Spotify

Spotify Plus is a new low-cost subscription tier being piloted by the streaming service which combines elements of its existing free and premium tiers. The plan still features ads like Spotify’s free tier, but it doesn’t impose any limits on the number of tracks you can skip per hour. Users are also free to pick which specific songs they want to listen to, rather than mostly being limited to shuffling within albums and playlists.

At least one user has seen Spotify Plus being advertised at $0.99 a month (a tenth of the cost of its standard $9.99 premium tier), but it’s understood that Spotify’s test involves offering the new plan randomly at a variety of price points to gauge user interest.

Spotify’s free tier has existed in its current form since 2018. It doesn’t let users skip more than six tracks per hour, and only lets them pick and listen to specific tracks from 15 select playlists, ranging from editorial-selected playlists to algorithmically generated collections like “Discover Weekly” and “Daily Mix.” Outside of these playlists, free users can only listen to shuffled tracks. The new Spotify Plus tier is a relatively cheap way to reduce some of those restrictions.

Spotify Plus is ad-supported, but comes with a subscription cost.
Image: Spotify
In-app ads for the tier have also been appearing for some users.
Screenshot: Spotify

News of the new test tier was initially shared with The Verge by a reader (thanks, Gustovo!) and later confirmed by Spotify in a statement. “We’re always working to enhance the Spotify experience and we routinely conduct tests to inform our decisions,” a spokesperson said. “We’re currently conducting a test of an ad-supported subscription plan with a limited number of our users.”

However, Spotify cautioned that there’s no guarantee that the new tier will launch in its current form. “Some tests end up paving the way for new offerings or enhancements while others may only provide learnings. We don’t have any additional information to share at this time.”

Spotify has a history of testing new features years before they actually launch, if they ever release at all. The best example of this is lossless audio streaming, which Spotify was testing as far back as 2017. Although the service officially announced its lossless “HiFi” tier earlier this year, it’s still yet to become available. Other tests include Snapchat-like stories for select playlists and visual quote cards for podcasts, both of which no longer appear to be visible in the app.

Update August 3rd, 7:34AM ET: Updated to confirm Spotify Plus is being offered at a variety of price points as part of the experiment.


The unlimited skip is available to free tiers on computers and iPad. This Plus would only make a difference on phones if I get it right.

I’m guessing phones are their number one market though.

that is correct

I mean, if they want to be really greedy, they could just lock unlimited skips and on-demand listening on those platforms to this Plus tier if they really wanted that much more revenue (though I would imagine the backlash would be big enough of a reason for them to not to).

Spotify free tier is so much worse than it used to be. It’s basically gacha

At this price point it’s acceptable, although it should be specified before subscribing how frequent are the ads (1 ad every song? every 2 songs?).

Agree. this new model is very attractive but not if Spotify continues to deploy 2mins long nagging Ads every 2 songs. Not that I am complaining Spotify put in ads in exchange for free streaming but some of them are nerve racking (high frequency and highly repetitive) on purpose.

I hope they go through with this.

A cheaper tier like this is pretty much exactly what someone like me is looking for. I have tried a 3-month trial of Spotify Premium, and realised that I don’t use it nearly enough to justify a $10 a month subscription. At the same time, the inability to skip more than a few tracks and the forced "shuffle mode" are probably the two most annoying thing about the Free tier, and are preventing me from using Spotify as much as I probably otherwise would.

A subscription like this seems perfect for me.

I find this interesting. I’ve got Spotify up constantly while working, and use it a bunch around the home and in the car—I find it super easy to justify $10 per month. Do you just not listen to music that much?

I, like you, used to have spotify going throughout the work day.

Now I just listen to mixes on youtube with ad-blocker.

$10 per month seemed fine beforehand. Now I realize that was the insane me thinking that.

10 bucks a month to listen to all the music you want for as long as you want from almost every artist in the world? Yeesh, what a waste, right? Better do it all for free so nobody can get paid.

Only suckers pay for advertisements.

Only people that can afford it pay the full price for ad-free.

At least this is a much cheaper alternative for those that can’t afford the full monthly price due to their financial situation.

I signed up for this within a heartbeat – I like Apple Music for my day-to-day but enjoy using Spotify handsfree in the car and the ads make it feel like real radio so I don’t mind at all for $1 a month to skip and choose.

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