It appears that Spotify may be ditching its so-called "freemium" – that is, solely ad-supported – tier in favour of using a "gated access" model. Huh? Well, on the surface this appears to mean that you'll have to pay if you want to use Spotify at all, if the elusive and mysterious "source" speaking to Digital Music News can be believed. But it's not quite as severe as it sounds.

Previously, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek had said that he'd rather shut down his company than give up the freemium option. Given this, the news of gated content should not be taken as a concrete, simplistic resolution; "sources" claim that many different variations of such gated content are apparently in the works. One example given is that freemium users could get access to just a couple songs from, say, the next Taylor Swift album, whilst premium users could listen to the whole thing unrestricted. This aims to entice free users to jump up and become paying subscribers so they don't miss out on anything – or as the shadowy "source" puts it: "They want the free users to feel like they’re missing something, not just forced to listen to ads."

It may not just be a way to grow Spotify – since the company seem to be quite bad at keeping any money they make – but a way to mollify the Big Three major labels (Sony, Warner, Universal) since, according to "sources", major licensing deals remain unsigned ahead of a renewal date of 1st October.