Spotify is moving to a “gated access” model, sources claim

Spotify’s freemium tier might be on the way out.

Spotify is preparing to start offering premium-only content to help convince the ad-supported free users to move to a paid subscription, Digital Music News reports.

Details of how this model might work are vague, but sources say this could mean that certain releases will be available only to Spotify subscribers, or offered only for a limited time to free users.

Another scenario could involve users having access to only one or two songs from a high-profile album, with the rest only accessible to paying subscribers. Time-restricted exclusives and limiting content only to paying subscribers have also been discussed.

According to sources close to Digital Music News, “[Spotify] want the free users to feel like they’re missing something, not just forced to listen to ads.

The news comes just two months ahead of the deadline for renewal of Spotify’s licenses with the major labels, all three of which remain unsigned.

Spotify has previously said its freemium model wasn’t going anywhere, but the opinions of the major labels may have changed its mind. Earlier this year Sony Music Entertainment CEO Doug Morris said: “in general, free is death.”

The news comes a few months after the streaming service announced it was expanding into the world of video content.