Offline playback has long-been a Premium privilege but it looks like Spotify are wondering how valuable downloadable music will be for their ad-supported users.
It has long been one of Spotify’s primary goals to convert their many free users into paying subscribers and it’s been working fairly well in recent years. They almost have as many Premium subscribers as they do ad-supported listeners globally, but it looks like they’re thinking of making free streaming even more appealing.
Notorious Spotify architect Jane Manchun Wong has discovered that offline listening is being tested with some free users in the latest update. The feature that is currently exclusive to paid subscribers allows Spotify users to download tracks, albums, and playlists to listen without an internet connection.
It has made sense as a paid exclusive considering how difficult it is to manage advertising without an offline connection. Paid users don’t have adverts between their music playback, so there’s no issue with them downloading the music and listening to their heart’s content.
Reportedly, Spotify are getting around this issue by limiting free users to just 30 minutes of music streaming offline per day. This may be enough to appeal to those with short commutes or who only listen for a short time but is fairly limited in terms of listening to anything properly.
It’s interesting after taking so many efforts to increase the conversion to paid subscriptions from their free offering that Spotify are now looking on expanding a Premium feature to free users. Early last year Spotify announced that Premium users were growing quicker than free users for the first time.
The feature’s strict restrictions may serve simply to advertise the benefits of Premium more-so. We will know whether they find it successful if we see it launch as an official feature soon.