To lure users into paying Premium, Spotify offers a one-month trial period where new customers get access to all features free of charge, including offline downloads, unlimited skips, and perhaps most important of all, no ads.
Apple Music offers the same thing, but instead just a month, users have three, which is plenty of time to help them decide whether they should take the plunge and become paying subscribers. Spotify still reigns as the most-used music streaming service in the world, yet Apple Music is slowly but surely catching up.
Apple's service is a big threat to Spotify, which is why the company is now mimicking the app's three-month trial period. The tripling is an effort to give users more time to think about switching to Premium.
Spotify makes clear that this isn't just a one-off promotion, the way some Spotify-Hulu bundles have been in the past. This is a permanent thing, the new standard for how Premium trials will operate, and it's rolling out now globally.
The new trial period will be offered across all of Spotify's Premium tiers, including individual, student, duo, and family plans, though the latter of which is still in testing and is not yet available worldwide.
New Spotify users can avail the offer directly on Spotify's website, not through in-app purchases or carrier billing plans.
"This has been a huge week for Spotify Premium with two milestones — we're rolling out an upgraded Family plan and we're offering the first 3 months of Premium for free to customers that have not tried Premium before," said Spotify exec Alex Norström. "These moments show our commitment to providing our Premium subscribers with the best experience and allowing more listeners around the world access to all that Premium has to offer."
The change to Spotify's default trial period comes after a subscriber dip on its latest earnings, where it added only 8 million new users, a bit lower than the expected 8.5 million. In all, Spotify said it had 232 million monthly active users, 108 of which were paying subscribers, at the end of June.
Apple Music, by contrast, has offered three-month free trials since it launched. There was a bit of a brouhaha back then, as artists weren't going to be paid royalties during the trial period in the original setup. Taylor Swift encouraged Apple to rethink that, pushing the company to pay artists during trials, and succeeded.