Spotify is arguably the biggest and most popular music streaming services around. Sure you have Pandora who's been around longer, but Spotify is larger. Spotify has about 20 million users that actually subscribe to the service. Meaning they pay each month to use the service, while they have 75 million active users overall. While Spotify does have 20 million paying users, they still have yet to turn a profit. And that's something they need to do, and soon. Earlier this year, the company announced a few new features to the service to help bring in more paying users and get users to spend more time on the service. That included video as well as podcasts. There was also the addition of "Discover Weekly" an attempt to help users find and discover more new music.
Now there's a report coming out of the Wall Street Journal that Spotify might make some music only available to subscribers and not all users. The report continues by saying that artists would be able to decide whether free users get to experience their music or just paid subscribers. This is likely to help bring in more paid users and help the company turn a profit. With the record labels commanding so much money, the company has yet to break even in any quarter. Currently, Spotify is looking to try out this new approach in a limited test before attempting to roll it out to everyone. They want to see how withholding music affects their free users and sign-ups for Spotify Premium. The goal here is to convert more of those free users into paid users. If it is successful, they will then make a commitment to labels and rights holders.
Spotify, like many other music streaming services, have a free service which doesn't have all the bells and whistles of their premium service, but this is so that users can try the service before deciding to sign up for $10/month. Pandora, Google Play Music and others also offer a free plan. Although they do use ads to combat the price. However, depending on the users' usage, ads may not be enough to offset the cost for these companies. Especially Spotify. Currently this is all just a rumor and not confirmed. So we urge everyone to take this with a grain of salt.