Spotify lifts track limits on free accounts, struggles to stand out in streaming market
Good news for European fans of the streaming music service Spotify: The company has lifted the five-track replay limit per day for users of the free service in Sweden, Finland, Norway, the Netherlands and Spain. Additionally, US users will get their current six-month free trial extended, but it's not yet clear just how long that trial will last. Presumably, Spotify is seeing a lot of action from free users, both on the desktop and with its mobile app, and now the company's challenge is going to be to keep these free users around.
Personally, I am fully on board with music streaming as the way of the future. I honestly can't remember the last time I downloaded an mp3 and before that, can't remember the last time I actually bought a CD. I've been using Spotify, Pandora, and Slacker, all in different places for different reasons. Among those three, there hasn't been any music that I've wanted to listen to but haven't found.
But for each of these companies, their goal going forward will have to be to become the standard. Right now, with each of these competing services, there are reasons for and against using them, with the most likely divider being that one of them is just the one you're used to using, or the one you heard about first. Until they come up with a really clear difference (such as, for example, a really great free program that is somehow monetized in a creative way), we'll continue to see these services struggle to reach a dominant spot.