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Spotify testing cheaper premium plan supported by ads

The logo of streaming service Spotify. (Logo: Spotify/Handout, Graphic: The Desk)

Streaming music service Spotify is quietly testing a new feature with a limited number of its customers that offers unlimited music skipping and on-demand listening for as low as $1 a month.

The plan is a slight upgrade from Spotify’s free tier, which allows users to listen to Spotify tracks on shuffle with advertisement breaks in-between songs and limits song skips to just six per hour.

The new premium plan, called Spotify Plus, keeps the advertisements in place, but allows users to listen to whatever track they want and skip the ones they don’t want to hear, all for just $1 a month — about one-tenth the cost of Spotify Premium, which charges users $10 a month to listen to ad-free, on demand streaming.

The lower-cost Spotify Plus was first reported by The Verge on Tuesday, which noted that Spotify is testing the feature with a limited number of customers at various price points.

The test is intended to “gauge user interest,” the technology website said after confirming details of the test with a Spotify spokesperson.

“Some tests end up paving the way for new offerings or enhancements, while others may only provide learnings,” the Spotify spokesperson said.

Spotify is known to test features with a handful of users, some of which ultimately make it into finalized updates of the service while others never see the light of day for most customers.

As of June, Spotify had more than 365 million users worldwide, with around 165 million customers receiving access to Spotify Premium through a subscription or bundle deal.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).