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Spotify adds 500,000 paying subscribers after throttling free tunes

Spotify has seen a near 50 per cent increase in the number of paying customers after it restricted the amount of music users get for free.

Music streaming front-runner Spotify saw a massive increase in the number of people who actually pay for the service after it seriously restricted the amount of music users get when using the free version, according to leaked reports Music Ally claims to have received.

In April, Spotify strangled its free service, limiting you to just 10 hours of music playback per month, and only letting you play individual tracks five times ever.

The idea was to push those users who enjoy the service into forking out for the paid version, which also lets you access Spotify's music databank from your phone using iOS and Android apps, and it looks as though the gamble paid off.

Between March and June this year, Spotify grabbed 520,000 paying subscribers, taking it up to a grand total of 1.54 million users who were willing to splash out actual cash-money to use the service -- a 50 per cent increase -- and 4.67 million users in total.

Interestingly, Spotify actually lost users overall since making the changes. In March it had 5.75 million users in total, which maths fans will identify is more than the 4.67 million users it had as of June.

But half a million customers paying for the service is a lot more valuable than a million freeloaders.

We reckon the initial changes were due to pressure from the music labels that lend their tunes to Spotify in the first place. A jump in paying users could appease entertainment industry honchos, and demonstrate that a trade built around inexpensive, accessible music is the future. Y'know, as opposed to knee-jerk, clumsy attempts to clamp down on piracy and keep things the way there are forever thank you very much.

What do you think about Spotify? Did the change persuade to subscribe or make you stop using it? Pipe up on our Facebook wall, or in the comments section below.