May 30, 2024 02:47:35

Spotify Implements Restrictions on Free Features for Users in India: What’s Changed

Spotify India has rolled out limitations on certain free features available to its users in the country. Under these restrictions, free users won’t have the ability to play songs in a specific order or repeatedly play their favorite tracks.

Spotify is a widely-used music streaming platform in India, with a substantial user base across the nation. The service offers both free access and a premium subscription option. Premium Spotify subscribers benefit from an ad-free experience, offline music listening, and more. However, the company is currently focused on increasing the number of premium subscriptions and, in this regard, has decided to curtail several key features for free account holders.

The changes in Spotify’s free features include the inability for Indian users to play songs in a specific sequence, repeat songs, or navigate back to their previous tracks. These functionalities will now be exclusive to premium subscribers. Free users, however, can still access their preferred artists, albums, playlists, and receive song recommendations.

Spotify has cited market maturity as the reason for these alterations, indicating that while these features were initially offered for free when the service launched in India in 2019, it is now necessary to charge for them to continue investing in the platform and provide a superior experience to all users.

Additionally, Spotify has introduced a new feature known as “Smart Shuffle.” This feature uses algorithms to suggest songs based on a user’s musical preferences and the song or playlist they are currently listening to. Smart Shuffle was initially introduced to premium subscribers in March and is now accessible to all users in India.

Earlier this year, Spotify also underwent a restructuring of its Podcast division. The company eliminated 200 job roles, affecting approximately 2 percent of its global workforce. This restructuring followed an announcement in January when the company let go of 600 employees due to “macroeconomic conditions.”

Sahar Elhabashi, VP and Head of Spotify’s podcast business, acknowledged the difficulties associated with these decisions in a blog post. The company pledged to handle the process with the utmost empathy and respect, providing affected employees with generous severance packages, extended healthcare coverage, and immediate access to outplacement support. Notably, Spotify was not the only major tech company to announce layoffs during this period, with giants like Amazon, Microsoft, Salesforce, and Google also making similar workforce reductions.