announced today that it's eliminating its "Open" subscription tier and offering all new users six months of unlimited streaming.On-demand music streaming service Spotify
Spotify Open was a more limited version of the Spotify Free plan. The company is now merging these two non-paid account types together. To make signing up for the service more attractive, they're also giving all new sign-ups a six month grace period in which they can stream music with no time caps of any kind.
After six months, Spotify Free users will be limited to 10 hours of streaming per month and will be able to listen to any given track up to five times. Spotify Open accounts used to include 20 hours of streaming per month, but that was cut in half for European users in April 2011.
The service now offers three plans: Free, Unlimited ($4.99/month) and Premium ($9.99/month). Unlimited and Premium accounts both already offer unlimited streaming. The main differences between the two are that Premium members can listen to music via their smartphones and sync tracks to the desktop for offline listening.
Although Spotify spins the change as "great news" for Open (soon to be Free) users, ultimately what the company wants is to convert those free users into paying customers, an effort that is vital to the longterm success of the much-hyped music service.