Spotify's Push For Paid Subscription Frustrates Music Lovers

Spotify's Push For Paid Subscription Frustrates Music Lovers

Spotify has been updating some of its features and pushing them behind a pay wall which has received some backlash from the users.

Pratiksha ThayilUpdated: Saturday, September 09, 2023, 02:51 PM IST
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Spotify's Push For Paid Subscription Frustrates Music Lovers | File/ Representational Photo

Spotify has become a go-to space for music lovers with its updated and large catalogue of music, but the company has been struggling to get more users to subscribe to its paid services. In a move that one can assume is to push more users towards paid subscriptions, Spotify has been updating some of its features which has only frustrated the users.

Smart Shuffle

One of the major changes that the users have been trying to find an alternative to is the Smart Shuffle. Many users have not been able to turn off the smart shuffle. This feature plays a random song from different albums on the platform leaving users flustered as they try to listen to their favourite songs from a single album or playlist.

A Spotify user posted on X, formerly known as Twitter saying she will unsubscribe as she has to wait for Spotify shuffle to play her song. The post read, "I can no longer play songs as per my liking on Spotify? I should wait until the shuffle plays that particular song?"

For some users, the smart shuffle button has been struggling between smart shuffle and normal shuffle confusing the users and leading to frustration.

Lyrics

While Smart shuffle is one of the major issues reported by users across the globe, the Swedish music streaming company has removed the in-app lyrics for free users and locked it behind a paywall. Many users can now see a pop-up under the playing song that says that the users can enjoy lyrics in the premium version.

However, Spotify while speaking to The Verge said that this feature is currently under testing. CJ Stanley, Spotify's co-head of global communication told The Verge, "At Spotify, we routinely conduct a number of tests, some of those tests end up paving the way for our broader user experience and others serve only as an important learning."

While it is still not clear if this feature will be behind the paywall for the long run or if it is still temporary the company has added some more restrictions for the free users.

Six Skips per hour

In addition to pushing the lyrics behind the paywall, the music streaming app has also resisted song skips to six per hour for free users. Once users are done with the six skips they get a pop-up that says, "You've got 6 skips per hour. You'll get more skips tomorrow, or get Premium to skip as much as you want."

For the users that are already suffering with smart shuffle and are unable to listen to the song of their choice, they will also have to listen to whatever music is thrown their way as they can only skip six songs in an hour.

This has frustrated the users who also took to X to express their irritation.

Khush Chugh posted, "Wow!! People are not buying Spotify Premium so, they have started irritating you by not stopping shuffle mode !!!! And see this , "6 skips per hour" Seriously!!!"

However, the changes on the free desktop version are limited and you can continue to listen to your playlist. You will still have to listen to ads but, you can skip more songs and the smart shuffle does not impact all the users.

Why is Spotify making so many changes?

All of these latest updates in features are to nudge people towards getting a paid subscription as the company is working towards making some profit after it reported a loss in the last quarter. The company has been under pressure after it made huge investments in podcasts, which may have not been in favour of the company. In addition to the spending on the podcasts, the company has also had to pay a big severance pay after it laid off 6 per cent of its workforce earlier this year.

The music streaming platform earlier this year also decided to increase the subscription costs in several countries like Austria, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Spain, Finland, France, UK, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Singapore, Sweden, Thailand, and the US.

The company at the time said, "The market landscape has continued to evolve since we launched. So that we can keep innovating, we are changing our Premium prices across a number of markets around the world."

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