The music streaming service Spotify again upgraded their free account. The Swedish company had already granted their free users a Christmas gift in December, allowing a allow use of the mobile smartphone and tablet application; now the time limit on the PC has been dropped as well.
Users who paid no monthly fee were able to stream only two and a half hours of music per week in the ad-supported version of Spotify - with the exception of the first six months, where there was no time limit anyway. Now the free version of Spotify has gotten much more attractive. However, if you want to avoid advertising between songs and in the player and on top of that want to use the app on your smartphone not only in shuffle mode and thus choose the songs order, you still have to pay 9.99 euros per month.
The abolition of time limit is likely due to the strong competition pressure rather than to advertising revenues finally earning enough money. The high licensing costs still let the Swedish company struggle to be in the black. Recently, Spotify had losses of nearly 60 million euros, despite a continued strong rise in sales, but were at least able to raise fresh capital in a further round of funding and has since then a value of an estimated 4 billion dollars. Money that they probably will use for further expansion.
Spotify now has around 26 million users, about six million of them are paying customers. The service is already active in 28 countries.