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Report: Spotify to put some content behind ‘Premium-only’ paywall

Spotify is planning to shake up its business model by placing some content behind its Premium paywall, according to reports this weekend.

Digital Music News sources say the firm is looking to adopt a ‘gated’ content model whereby some music would only be available to paying customers, perhaps as soon as early 2016.

While the details aren’t resolved, the sources say one scenario involves making only 1-2 songs on a high-profile album available to free users.

According to the sources, the idea would be to incentivise the Premium tier and to monetise the music of highest-value artists.

One person reportedly in the know said: “They want the free users to feel like they’re missing something, not just forced to listen to ads.”

See also: Spotify vs Apple Music

The reported discussions arrive as Spotify comes under increasing pressure to drop its free tier.

Artists like Taylor Swift and Prince have ditched the streaming service, while rivals Apple and Tidal are courting favour among rights holders.

Another reason for Spotify to consider a switch could be the looming rights renewal dates. According to the report the firm is yet to come to terms with Sony, Warner and Universal with the current deals set to expire on October 1.

Related: Why musicians hate Spotify

Spotify has long resisted calls to keep anything in the library from paying customers. Could that stance be softening somewhat?

Would you agree with any decision to incentivise Premium subscriptions? Share your thoughts below.

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