How free is Spotify Free? Read the TOS for limitations

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UPDATE: While the terms of service for Spotify have not changed (within which they describe a six-month limit on the free service), the company has announced the following:

Well, it’s now been 9 months since we launched in the US. Time sure flies when you’re having fun! To celebrate, here’s some great news…

We’ve been so overwhelmed by the US response to Spotify that we’ve extended the honeymoon for unlimited free listening.

More time to discover more free music

Right now, if you’re a free user, you can continue to enjoy millions and millions of tracks without time limits, gimmicks or catches. It’s our way of saying thanks to the US!

And so, users in the US should not experience a 10-hour limit on their listening within the free service, at least in the near-term.

Original post:

Just how free is Spotify free?  A quick look at the terms of service once you signup provide the answer.

Spotify free is free and unlimited in usage for only the first six months.  After that term, users will be limited to ten (10) hours of free listening in any month, with a cap of five (5) listens to any particular track.  Unclear whether the # of listens limitation renews each month or is a true cap.

The quoted language of the Spotify TOS follow:

The Spotify Service can be accessed

(i) as an ad-supported free-to-the-user service having no monthly cap on listening hours or a cap on number of plays of a unique track during the first 6 months following creation of your Spotify account but thereafter a cap of 10 listening hours per month and a cap of 5 plays per unique track (the “Free Service”),

(ii) as an advertisement free version of the Spotify Service for which you pay a monthly or yearly subscription (the “Unlimited Service”),

(iii) as an advertisement free version of the Spotify Service including an offline mode which makes it possible to listen to music without a connection to the Internet via conditional downloads and other additional features for which you pay a monthly or yearly subscription (the “Premium Service”), and

(iv) as a version of the Spotify Service that provides access to aspects of the Spotify Service via a supported mobile handset (the “Mobile Service”).

Always read the fine print.