The music streaming giant, Spotify, is implementing changes to its free tier in India, which could potentially affect the user experience.
Free Spotify users in India no longer have access to basic features such as repeat, rewinding to specific song sections, revisiting previous songs, or customizing playlist orders. These modifications were reported by Musically, and Spotify will also notify users of these changes through in-app notifications.
Not just that, but Spotify is also taking away the regular shuffle feature in favor of ‘Smart Shuffle’ as the default playback method for free-tier users. Smart Shuffle incorporates songs outside of the user’s playlist, leveraging their listening habits. Consequently, the traditional shuffle option will no longer be available to free users.
This adjustment in strategy appears to reflect Spotify’s aim to steer free-tier users toward considering premium subscriptions. Nevertheless, the removal of fundamental features such as rewind and the ability to navigate to the previous song is likely to be met with dissatisfaction among many users.
As these alterations take effect, it remains to be observed how Indian users will react to this and whether it will inspire them to explore premium subscription alternatives or consider platforms like YouTube Music, which continue to provide these features without cost.
That being said, we are only hearing about this change in India for now, but if Spotify is truly desperate to push more people into premium, then it wouldn’t be surprising to see this downgrade in other regions as well.