For years, Spotify’s ad-supported tier has been the easiest way to access an enormous catalog of free music on the internet. Now it’s the last of its kind — if you don’t count YouTube — and it’s not getting better.
As part of its new licensing agreement with Universal Music Group, Spotify will allow artists to limit their new releases to its premium service for up to two weeks at their request. Similar deals with Sony Music Group and Warner Music Group will likely follow in the coming weeks.
That means an artist like Drake or Beyoncé could release a project on Apple Music or Tidal, respectively as an exclusive for a week or two, and then make it available to Spotify Premium users for two weeks, before making it available to Spotify’s free users. Now, this likely won’t happen with every album, but the biggest artists have the most to gain by restricting their new releases to paid services (and tiers) for as long as possible.
On one hand, if you don’t care about new music then it doesn’t really matter. But if you do, is it still worth saving $10 a month or less if you get creative with the “family” plan? Spotify would say yes, as there are still millions of songs and playlists available, while the labels and artists — who have been complaining about low payouts from ad-supported services for years — would say no.
But what do you think? Sound off in the comments below.
Is Spotify free still viable for you?
This poll is closed
Yes, I can wait a bit longer to hear new music.
Yes, new music doesn’t really matter to me.
No, I’ll be switching to a paid service soon.
No, but I don’t want to pay for music so I’ll stick around.