Is Spotify set to make some content ‘premium only’?

Insiders suggest the streaming service might edge towards Apple Music's 'unique content' model

Reports filtering out from anonymous sources at Spotify suggest that the streaming giant is looking at moving closer to Apple Music’s model, in introducing unique content for paying customers.

It had previously been thought that Spotify was emphatically against entering the unique content market.

Digital Music News have published an article revealing the new direction, which they say they’ve heard from several anonymous sources. Should plans come to fruition, certain releases on the platform will either be available to non-premium (non-paying) subscribers for only an extremely short period of time, or not at all. Another suggested scenario is that non-premium subscribers would have access to only one or two tracks from a release.


Spotify are thought to have a number of major licensing agreements up for renewal in the coming couple of months, which could also prove critical given developing competition from Apple Music, Tidal and other streaming services in an increasingly crowded market.

Only this week, Prince and Dr Dre have announced albums that will stream exclusively on Tidal and Apple Music respectively, with Prince in particular citing issues with other streaming services’ payments compared to Jay-Z‘s Tidal model, which claims to be more artist focused.

Only around a quarter of Spotify’s subscribers at present are thought to be in the premium category.

The service recently launched ‘Discover Weekly‘, aimed at introducing new artists as they break according to taste. Earlier this year, Spotify was deemed to be worth more than the entire American recorded music industry, according to a Wall Street Journal report.