- Spotify has been facing a huge backlash from users over special media after the recent changes to its free plan.
- The Google Play Store rating of Spotify in India has reduced to just 1.7 stars.
- Free users are complaining about restrictive song playback and excessive ads in the Spotify app.
Spotify is one of the largest music streaming services in the world with over 500 million active users, with approximately 55 million users from India. However, the platform started aggressively pushing its Premium subscription with the latest update, leaving several users unhappy.
To recall, Spotify recently introduced multiple restrictions in its app for its free users, which removed the functionality to skip and replay songs. Users were so frustrated by these changes that they started leaving negative reviews for the Spotify app on the Google Play Store.
Spotify Users in India Are Not Just Unhappy, They Are Angry
Spotify is extremely popular due to its music recommendations and fluid user interface. The platform runs on a freemium model where free users are occasionally served with ads, whereas Premium users could enjoy an ad-free experience. Apart from this, there were no major changes for music playback between free and paid users.
However, in an attempt to drive more users towards its paid subscription, Spotify made three major changes to its free plan. There were:
- Users won’t be able to seek and go back to a specific part of the song.
- Repeat Mode will get disabled.
- Users won’t be able to shuffle songs manually and will be forced to use Spotify’s Smart Shuffle recommendations.
Let’s have a look at feedback from users over these new changes.
#Spotify in India.
No free users will be entertained on Spotify. You cannot access anything now.
Only premium user has access to all things.
Is this the right strategy??
If we uninstall then nothing will make it to download again.
Let see if this will work.… pic.twitter.com/zbSOTSUblu
— Abhishek Singhal (@abhitweets20) October 22, 2023
Users are not able to repeat their favourite songs, or even play songs from their playlist. The platform is forcing users to get the Spotify Premium subscription for these features, which were earlier present in the free tier.
Another major complaint from users is the increase in the number of advertisements during song playback. Spotify once used to offer 30 minutes of ad-free playback by listening to approximately a one-minute ad. However, the platform is now reportedly playing ads after every song, which is annoying users even further.
In the last 30 days, the rating of the Spotify App in India on the Google Play Store has drastically reduced from 4.3 stars to just 1.7 stars. If we look at the most recent reviews, we can notice that almost everyone is complaining about restricted song playback and ads. Around 75% of the latest reviews have rated the Spotify app just 1 star, as users are expressing their displeasure towards the app.
In case you are wondering, Google updated its Play Store Ratings calculation in 2021 making them more country-specific. Hence, the same app can have different ratings based on the region. Due to this reason, Spotify’s Play Store rating in the USA has remained unchanged, but the Indian rating has taken a nosedive.
Given the price-sensitive nature of the Indian market, the number of paying users of Spotify in the country is far less than in the USA or any other region. Hence, when Spotify changed its free plan, a larger set of users were affected in India, resulting in a flood of negative reviews.
It is unlikely that Spotify will roll back these changes. Hence, users will have to explore other music streaming options such as Gaana or JioSaavn for a better music streaming experience without any paid subscription.