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Spotify Adds New Sub £5 Pricing Options

Gordon Kelly


Spotify Adds New Sub £5 Pricing Options

With a remodelled Napster cutting subscription costs to £5.99 and Sky Songs priced at just £6.49 (including downloads), it was inevitable Spotify would have to compromise...

This week the popular streaming music service has doubled the number of its paid and free packages to four with the unveiling of 'Spotify Unlimited' and 'Spotify Open' added to the existing 'Spotify Premium' and 'Spotify Free' options.

Yes it sounds a little convoluted, but in essence things are fairly straightforward. As before, Spotify Premium costs £9.99 per month and gives ad-free access to Spotify, its recently added social features, radio mode, higher bitrate playback, the desktop offline mode and mobile client. You are also able to use Spotify abroad - even in countries where the service isn't yet launched.

Stepping down from this Spotify Unlimited hits the magical £4.99 per month and allows ad-free listening to Spotify, its radio mode, social networking and taking the service abroad, but loses everything else including higher bitrate music and access to the mobile client. Yes amusingly 'Unlimited' is limited, but you get the point.

Spotify Free is identical to Unlimited other than a 14 day limit on listening to the service abroad and the reinstatement of advertising and requires an invite from a premium user. Meanwhile Spotify open is also free, doesn't require an invite, but strips away the radio mode and limits listening to just 20 hours per month.

If this sounds complex check out the full comparison graph below. All four packages are available now and if you haven't sampled the delights of Spotify yet I heartily recommend it....

...and no, I don't have any invites left.

Link: Spotify


May 19, 2010, 5:54 am

So, if I get this right, Spotify Open is for those unable to get an invitation, and the price you pay for that is the 20hr/month streaming limit. And both Open and Free are ad-supported, whereas the higher tiers are Ad-free... Good. I think I've got it clear in my head now :)


May 19, 2010, 6:05 am

@Pbryanw - spot on


May 19, 2010, 6:19 am

Why on earth would you pay £5 a month if you can't get access to the mobile client?

I saw this post and thought, great they've come to their sense. £5 per month, let me get my credit card. Then I saw they've missed the point, credit card away again. Try again.

£5 a month for unlimited music. £10 a month for unlimited films (which I already do). That's how you get my cash media conglomerates.


May 19, 2010, 6:27 am

@jopey - I understand your point, but I'd argue that's harsh. Neither Napster nor Sky Songs has a mobile client and not everyone a) wants it or b) has a compatible handset. I suspect many people would simply want the cheapest access possible to ad-free Spotify access and £4.99 achieves that.


May 19, 2010, 12:00 pm

@jopey - So basically you're a cheapskate?

Quite happy with this as I have an 80gb Zune and Pre so the mobile option is a bit superfluous right now, but £4.99 to get rid of the interruptions will do fine, although I wouldn't have minded the bitrate upgrade thrown in as well.


May 19, 2010, 12:16 pm

Since Spotify was upgraded the other week it has stopped working properly for me. I can't listen to a song without it stopping playback constantly. It never did this previously. I notice a lot of people complaining about the same issue on the net too. pity.

Peter Morris

May 19, 2010, 12:24 pm

@jopey - where are you going to get unlimited films for £10 per month? DVD rental or online?


May 19, 2010, 12:30 pm

The need a proper API before i'll subscribe again. Its not worth it for me unless I can control it remotely as part of my htpc.

Where would twitter be without its API?


May 19, 2010, 1:18 pm

Good pricing IMO. With time and competition Im sure there will be improvements.

@Jopey, to put it simply, £10 a month for the mobile client is a bargain for those with gigantic music libraries and tastes. Right now, for example, I have a list of 40 or so albums Im thinking of buying. I cant afford them all so need to whittle it down. Ive put them all into a playlist and am working through it during my commutes to work. Seriously, Spotify has actually saved me a fortune!


May 19, 2010, 1:34 pm

Sounds to me like Spotify Free won't be getting any new users in the long term. How do you get more invitations?


May 19, 2010, 1:36 pm

@Bobafett: Yeah, the overall structure does seem a bit weird to me but particularly the continuation of the invites.

Simon Fraser

May 19, 2010, 2:07 pm

I'm not bothered about the mobile client, but the higher bitrate would have been nice. I will try Premium for a month to check if my old ears can tell the difference in quality. If it's very noticeable, I'll hold off till there's either a native Linux client or native Squeezecenter App. If the higher bitrate isn't that noticeable (to me) I'll be happy to pay £60 pa.


May 19, 2010, 2:13 pm

Why not just charge for the mobile client and forget invites and just have two plans? It'd be much simpler.

Also, that's radio mode (yeah I could google it or go to the spotify site).

And I'm still waiting for the new version with the social networking features, this is one slooo......oo..oooo.w roll out.

I wonder how much things will get shaken up if/when Apple bring out a streaming version of iTunes which is rumoured for next month.


May 19, 2010, 2:30 pm

@jokey: I understand where you're coming from, but the mobile client also adds offline playlists stored on your mobile devices, which is the added bonus. I believe the 4.99 also gets you the higher quality streaming but not sure about that. Oh, plus using Spotify abroad would be a big plus to some. So it's still a pretty good deal.

@BobaFett: Did you want an invite?


May 19, 2010, 3:42 pm

@drdark: Thanks for the generous offer but I did sign up when TR alerted me to Spotify's existence back in Feb 2009. Didn't take long for me to use up the invites though so I was simply wondering how one gets more or whether they were being phased out. My gut feeling is that Spotify Free will effectively be closed henceforth and if so, might better be renamed Spotify Early Adopter.


May 19, 2010, 3:49 pm

You're forgetting We7 , which allows streaming within the browser for £4.99 (3.99 for first 3 months). No need to download any client and whilst it has half the amount of tracks avaliable compared to Spotify, it has some content missing from Spotify. For instance the biggest selling female artist of 2005 is strangely missing from Spotify for over a year, but present on We7. Plus the more you use We7 Free, you earn points towards advert free days.


May 19, 2010, 3:52 pm

@Bobafett - I think its a bog standard 3 invites a month allocation. I hardly ever use mine. Got about 11 spare and counting...


May 19, 2010, 4:28 pm

@Jones: Is that just using the free version? I've got around 5 or 6 at the moment and have been subscribing for a while. Wasn't sure if they still gave out invites to free users.

@BobaFett: Yeah, me too. Not sure if it was TR which alerted me though. I think it was http://www.thinkabouttech.com/

@Jopey: I apologise for misspelling your handle. My only excuse is that it was typed on an iPad. Feel free to stamp on my foot regardless though; to relieve some of the insult.

@HK: Is it a roll out thing? I thought you just had to go and download the latest client from spotify.com


May 19, 2010, 4:57 pm

I had never heard of We7 before darkspark mentioned it. Looks like it has potential. Signed up for the free version to try it out. The radio function looks superior to Spotify's (which is pretty mince to be honest).

Out of curiosity, how many licences do you get for your premium plus sub? I cant find anything on their site about it. At the moment with Spotify, both myself and the other half use my Spotify account on our own iPhones to cart whatever music we like about with us. If its only a single use licence per login with We7 then Im def out.


May 19, 2010, 6:27 pm

@<A88> You could look at me as cheap, or since I buy an album every couple of months, I'm just not enough of a 'new' music person where I'm constantly buying albums. I'm interested in using spotify to access the music I already own (which should mean only data costs to spotify - if that if it's coming from my own computer) and seeing what my friends are listening to. So basically, for what I'd use it for, it should be £4.99.

Hopefully dropbox will update it's app on android so that you can stream audio in the background. Then if you could also auto cache folders onto the phone from drop box it would work just as well. Then I will probably just buy a heap of drop box storage and keep my music in the cloud.


May 19, 2010, 7:28 pm

@drdark - ah you may be right. Im a premium subscriber.

@Jopey - keep your eyes peeled on Apple. If rumours are to be believed the subs based model they will be adopting is meant to focus around access to your library from anywhere (or something like that). ie. store you library centrally or have links to a central database for the tunes you own then stream to you potentially anywhere in theory. Id be slightly disappointed if this is all they do with a subs based model as I was sort of hoping for some sort of Spotify killer for full iPhone integration and background audio. No big deal though.


May 19, 2010, 8:11 pm

@HK - You don't have to wait for it to be rolled out, just download the client from spotify.com to get the latest version.


May 21, 2010, 5:22 pm

@Jones: that apple solution sounds horrible, you buy your music and they keep it, I'm much prefering androids solution, where you can stream all your music from your computer to your phone anywhere in the world or over local wifi in your house, and then if you want spotify will handle the rest of your music, likely far cheeper than apples model will be

Miyako O'Conner

January 11, 2015, 9:41 am

Thanks for the article Gordon. For those who live outside US and want to access Spotify, you can use UnoTelly as I do to get around the geo block.

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