Spotify removes 10 hour limit on free accounts

Martin Brinkmann
Dec 18, 2013
Music, Music and Video

When it comes to music streaming services that you subscribe to, Spotify is without doubt one of the popular services on today's Internet.

The service is available for a variety of platforms, including desktop computers, the mobile platforms iOS and Android, and also as as web-based version.

The company behind Spotify made an announcement recently that introduced a free version of the service for mobile devices and tablets.

This new version provides unlimited (meaning no time limit) access to music on Spotify if you are using a tablet or mobile for the connection and are a free user of the service.

While you can only experience shuffle play this way, it effectively means free access to Spotify's vast database of music.

What Spotify did not mention in the announcement, or anywhere else on the official website, is that it also removed the 10 hour limit for free Spotify accounts.

The free accounts were limited to 10 hours of ad-interrupted playback in the past. Apparently, that is a thing of the past, so that desktop and web users can listen to Spotify for as long as they want, even if they use a free account and not one of the premium accounts.

There is no official confirmation for that, but you find positive responses to that on the official forum, and if you browse the Terms of Service, you will also notice that a time limit is not mentioned here anymore.

So how do the free mobile, free desktop and premium version of Spotify differ from each other?

spotify differences account

If you are using a free account on a mobile device, you get access to shuffle play any playlist or artist catalog, and to create your own playlists.

Desktop and tablet users get the same experience, and on top of that, an option to play any song on-demand.

Premium account owners get all of those features, plus access to the highest quality audio, an ad-free listening environment, and options to download music for offline listening.

And Spotify Unlimited users? Those users get the same experience as desktop users it semms, but with uninterrupted playback added so that they can listen to music that is not interrupted by advertisement.

Closing Words

Free users will certainly appreciate the removal of the time limit, while premium users will have one of the features that set their accounts apart from free accounts taken away from them.

It is likely that at least some paying users of the service have only upgraded their accounts to premium for the ability to listen to Spotify music for as long as they like.

Why did Spotify make the change? It is likely that the company is trying to increase the user count of the service this way.

Are you using Spotify or another music streaming service? What's your take on this?


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  1. patrick said on December 20, 2013 at 4:43 am

    they say free on tablet, but on the kindle it dosent know its a tablet, so still no listening to individual songs (or not like desktop)

    1. Nope said on January 7, 2014 at 3:55 am

      That’s not how this works, patrick. You don’t get to pick individual songs unless you pay for premium, or use your desktop to access Spotify.

      You can now create playlists from your desktop and play them, with no monthly limit of 10 hours, in shuffle mode. You can also do the same with others’ playlists from your mobile device.

  2. joseph batchelor said on December 19, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    That’s good to know about the 10 hour time limit being lifted it seems like good PR. I have not spent 10 hours on Spotify or any music site,don’t have the time but it makes me want to use them more than I do because they give good options and don’t seem to be greedy and stingy.

  3. nonqu said on December 18, 2013 at 9:47 pm

    Thanks for bringing us this information. The 10h limit was what kept me from even testing the service.

  4. Transcontinental said on December 18, 2013 at 9:24 pm

    They sell music like a grocery sells potatoes. A company that fits perfectly in the slot of my genuine dislikes.
    Moreover, an album is like a book with chapters. Who would like to move randomly within those chapters and be obliged to endure a page of ads between them ? Well, that is Spotify and music with their free version (no longer limited to 10hrs? How sweet, so generous).
    I’ve never liked that company and I won’t change for being allowed to swallow more than 10 hours of corresponding advertizement.
    Oh brother …

    1. nonqu said on December 19, 2013 at 3:47 am

      You can listen to albums in track order. Noone forces you to shuffle. After 2 hours I’ve only hears 5 30s. ads. Nothing that would bother me.

    2. smaragdus said on December 18, 2013 at 11:55 pm


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