Earlier this month we got news that Spotify was cracking down on the use of authorized apps – apps that gave people some of the premium features for free – and new documents filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have now revealed the full extent of the problem.
According to the revised filings, 2 million people were getting something for nothing out of Spotify, so it's no surprise that the company decided to take action. The figures have been published as Spotify prepares to go public on the New York Stock Exchange.
Those 2 million users represent 1.3 percent of the total userbase, so it's not a good look for a company that wants to attract outside investment. According to the documents, Spotify now has 157 million users in total across the world, with 71 million of those paying the $9.99/£9.99 a month subscription fee.
No more free lunch
By installing apps freely available on the web, which tinker with Spotify's code, these couple of million users were able to get around some of the restrictions of a free account – they could stop ads from popping up between songs for example, and unlock an unlimited number of skips.
"We detected abnormal activity on the app you are using so we have disabled it," read the message Spotify sent out to users of these hacked apps a few weeks ago. "Don't worry – your Spotify account is safe."
Spotify went on to say it would suspend and terminate accounts that didn't comply. So far it hasn't said how successful its crackdown on unauthorized apps has been, or how many of those 2 million users have gone back to being good streaming music citizens.