28 Sep 2011

Spotify Opens Membership To Public, Gives Users 6 Months Unlimited Listening




Music streaming service Spotify has decided to retire its Spotify Open account and give every user 6 months of free, unlimited music listening. The news was first announced when CEO Daniel Ek spoke to Alexia from TechCrunch, but on Monday, Spotify released details of the new type of service.
Previously, Spotify Open was an exclusive version of Spotify Free. The company has decided to merge both the Spotify Free and Spotify Open accounts into one single type of account. From now on, all free users will simply have a Spotify account. After the 6-month period of free listening runs out, users who have not subscribed to Spotify Unlimited or Spotify Premium will be granted 10 hours of listening per month and 5 plays per individual song. Spotify Unlimited and Spotify Premium accounts will remain unchanged.
This news comes directly after Facebook announced partnerships with a number of music streaming services including Spotify at the f8 conference last Thursday. After rumors of a new music platform swirled, an idea the social network eventually canned, about a dozen music services have been integrated into Facebook’s new Open Graph – but Spotify integration comes at a price, at least for the users who expected to use the service as a stand alone app.
Spotify is now requiring all users to have a Facebook account. When you visit Spotify’s open sign up, you’ll be directed to a page that has pulled all of your Facebook information, if you’re logged in at the time. If not, you will be asked to login or create a Facebook account to gain access to Spotify.
Spotify’s Facebook integration will certainly help the service gain new users, but what about those of us who don’t want our every listen to be posted on our Facebook Walls and Tickers? It’s simple to hide in your preferences (go to Applications > Spotify > App Privacy > Only Me) but it still makes users uneasy. It actually dissuaded me from signing up for the service when my friends started using it post-integration.
Spotify currently has 3 levels of subscription: Spotify (free), Spotify Unlimited ($4.99 per month) and Spotify Premium ($9.99/month).
Will you still subscribe even if you have to link Spotify to your Facebook account?

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