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Spotify extends non-restricted use for freebies

SPOTIFY EK-STENDS UNLIMITED LISTENING: Spotify will continue to let U.S. users listen to anything they want, without restrictions, for a while longer, All Things D’s Peter Kafka reports. Those restrictions, which would have limited non-paying users to 10 hours a month, were supposed to kick in three months ago, but the company extended the promotion, and it will announce today that it’s extending it again. Why lift the limits? Kafka offers two guesses, which aren’t mutually exclusive: (1) Both Spotify and the labels are pleased with the service’s results, which have been producing free-to-paid conversions of around 15%, at least during the U.S. launch. If that’s still working, it may be worth it, from both sides’ perspectives, to lay off the limits. (2) Spotify is in the midst of a giant funding round that could value the company at $4 billion. That pitch is premised on the company’s “extraordinary” growth.  If it did clamp down on free listening, that growth would presumably slow, which makes that pitch harder to make. (3/29a)

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