Spotify’s changes could lead to more students downloading music illegally

Spotify recently announced that it will be making some changes to the free service that it currently offers music lovers, which includes halving usage for free users to 10 hours per month and students are already debating a rise in music piracy and illegal downloading.

The Student Room has hosted a ‘Spotify Discussion and Playlists’ thread since December 2008 (2 months after it launched) and to date there have been almost 2000 separate posts by students discussing what they like about the service and sharing their best playlists.

However since the announcement that there will be some major changes to free users’ access the discussion has turned to whether they will continue to use the service or find alternative options to listen to their music.

Early comments from students when the service launched in 2008:

“Spotify is really good, very nice piece of kit and a great range of tracks” – lodzinski

“I found Spotify today. It allows you select and listen to any music you want instantly: type in the artist, select the track, and the track will play. No downloading, no waiting to buffer. And best of all it’s completely legit.” – Ekpyrotic

“Okay this does seem pretty good. What’s the catch?” – Mr Snips

What students are saying since the changes were announced:

“It’s ridiculous, I doubt many people will opt to pay. Most will just move elsewhere.” – didgeridoo12uk

“It’s a bit of a bummer, most people will just start downloading illegally again.” – Madjackismad

“Somehow, I blame Nick Clegg for this. Bit peeved but I have paid for Spotify before and I would probably do it again, I think it is worth the money.” – Fission_Mailed


Latest poll results from The Student Room indicate that 12% of those that use Spotify will upgrade to the premium version while 20% will quit Spotify completely and find an alternative. For 39% of the students polled this means resorting to downloading music illegally.

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