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Spotify undercuts itself

Needs more punters to pay artists
Tue May 18 2010, 13:58

ONLINE MUSIC SERVICE Spotify has cut its subscription fee in half in the hope of luring punters.

When it was launched, Spotify was hailed as the music industry's saviour, as if it needed one. Since all four of the major record labels took control of Spotify, the one size fits all £10 per month subscription model has deterred users from signing up. To fill in the gap between its paid and free service, the firm has introduced a £5 a month "Unlimited" service.

The new tariff gives users unlimited access to the firm's seven million song library without adverts. However in a bid to avoid cannibalising its original £10 per month service, Spotify will not allow access from mobile devices or the ability to listen to music when offline in its Unlimited service. So it's a somewhat limited, er, Unlimited service, really.

To further diminish the quality of its half price service, Spotify doesn't offer what it claims is "enhanced quality sound", that is, a stream with a bitrate of 320kbps. At press time, Spotify had not responded to our request to reveal the bitrate it will offer in its Unlimited service.

In recent months, Spotify has come under criticism for shafting artists, paying them next to nothing despite hours of airplay. The firm retorted by saying that as its service increases in popularity, the richer artists will become.

This latest price cut could, if Spotify is to be believed, help artists as well as itself. µ


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