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Spotify's Warning: Piracy Will Rise without Freemium Model

Posted by: , 11:25 AEST, Thu August 27, 2015

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Spotify warns against industry pressure to scrap Spotify's free listening plan
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Image/Photo Credit: Sorosh @ Flickr, CC

With some in the music industry growing increasingly annoyed at Spotify's free listening plan, blaming it for decreased earnings, Spotify warns that its free plan is the only thing helping to keep piracy down.

Artists includes Taylor Swift, Thom Yorke, Beck, Pink Floyd and Neil Young have all expressed concern about how Spotify pays artists, with Swift eventually taking the drastic step of removing all of her songs from Spotify's library. However, according to Sachin Dosh, Spotify’s Vice President of content and distribution, the freemium model is an essential tool to keep piracy at bay, and helps artists monetize fans that otherwise may not have been paying to listen anyway.

"We've done such a great job at Spotify of making piracy irrelevant, but that doesn’t mean it’s gone. It just means there’s no need for it right now," Dosh told MBW. "You could create that need again if you follow the wrong path," he warned.

As for the issues with revenue, it's all about enticing users to want to pay for Spotify's premium plan, by making them better.

"…I think the industry does actually agree with a lot of this: instead of making free worse, the right answer is making premium better," says Dosh.

Dosh then goes on to explain that this will not necessarily lead to exclusive content for premium subscribers, but hinted at "other features" that leads to "creating a better experience" for users.

Meanwhile, Spotify took to their official blog to address the recent controversy regarding the service's updated user agreements, which has spooked users worried about the potential privacy invading changes.

The new privacy policy gives Spotify the right to access the user's photos, location, microphone and contacts, and also grants limited sharing of user information with advertisers. Spotify CEO Daniel Ek took to the official Spotify blog to clarify what these new changes actually mean, and to apologise for not properly "communicating what these policies mean".


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