By Alexandra Burlacu | Jan 16, 2014 10:50 AM EST
Spotify fans are in for some good news, as the company has now announced it will drop time limitations for web and desktop users.
After Spotify raked in $250 millions in a massive fundraising round back in November, it has now announced that it has ditched all limits on streaming ad-supported music on the web.
Until now, Spotify only allowed users to enjoy a certain number of hours once their six-month trial period expired, but that is no longer the case. The company has now completely dropped the caps, likely in a bid to better compete with rivals such as Rdio and the upcoming Beats Music.
"In the past, we had to restrict your listening time to some hours a month once a 6-month unlimited grace period had passed," explains Spotify in a blog post on Wednesday, Jan. 15. "But now, if you haven't noticed, there's no more time limit if you are using Spotify for free. We have removed these caps completely across all platforms - you can listen to your favourite songs as many times as you like, for as long as you want."
Coincidentally, Spotify's new move comes less than a week before Beats Music makes its much-awaited debut. The high-profile streaming service had a massive marketing campaign that included deals with the popular Ellen Degeneres and AT&T, and is also expected to run an ad aired during the Super Bowl. Beats Music even struck an agreement with AT&T to offer a special deal for the carrier's customers. Unlike Spotify, however, Beats Music focuses on a paid model, which aims to offer a superior experience.
Generally, companies opt for a "freemium" model that allows users to enjoy the service for free for a period of time, after which they try to convert said users into paying customers. The longer the free period, the better the chances of a customer agreeing to pay for a subscription.
Spotify already has considerably more users compared to any other current on-demand music-streaming service, and that's because it has always been very generous with its free offerings. In the short run, this move to eliminate caps may cost the company some money, but in the long run it will likely help it better compete against rivals.