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Spotify lifts 5-play song cap for UK users

Popular music streaming service Spotify has lifted a restriction limiting the number of times non-paying users can play an individual song.

Until today, Spotify's free UK subscribers had to contend with a five play-per-song cap. The company hoped that the ability to listen to your favourite tunes over and over would provide a compelling incentive to shell out for a premium subscription.

However, Spotify has now decided to ditch the miserly strategy, which was originally introduced in April 2011.

"We've got some mighty fine news for all Spotfy Free users. From today, there's no more 5 play-per-song limit. You can listen your favourite songs as many times as you like," Spotify wrote (opens in new tab) on its blog.

Some users, though, aren't satisfied with the changes.

"Still not good enough. Should be free, with adverts, on smartphones," commented David Early in response to Spotify's announcement.

The UK was one of the last countries to feature the five-play limit. Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Spain had their respective song caps lifted in March 2012, while Spotify users in the US and Australia have always been able to blast out tunes as many times as they please. French music lovers, however, are still subject to a cap on individual song play.

Despite the good news for UK music lovers, Spotify still imposes a number of restrictions on its free users. Non-paying subscribers get 10 hours of music streaming per month, and Spotify's free service remains heavily supported by advertising.

Those who wish to enjoy unlimited play-time and an unadulterated listening experience will have to shell out £5 a month, or £10 if they want to add the ability to save tracks for offline playback via mobile devices.

It has been a busy start to 2013 for the music streaming service, which now boasts over 6 million paying subscribers. In February, Spotify updated its iOS app (opens in new tab).

Spotify also launched a Windows Phone 8 app (opens in new tab) earlier in the year.

James is a freelance editor, journalist, and writer with 10+ years experience in digital media, SEO and news writing. He has produced content on a number of Future sites, including TechRadar, ITProPortal, Tom's Guide, and T3, and was Senior Staff Writer at ITProPortal.