Spotify may soon require a Premium account to listen to certain albums

Listening for free might mean a limited library

After recently achieving 50 million subscribers to its Premium tier, Spotify may soon have more listeners ponying up for the service's paid tier just to listen to exclusive tracks.

As its current licensing deals with music labels start to expire, Spotify could be forced to make certain albums exclusive to the streaming service's non-gratis version, according to The Verge.

Currently, Spotify's library remains equally available to free and Premium users. Those who pay that extra $9.99/£9.99/AU$11.99 a month instead receive exclusive features such as offline play, unlimited skips, unlimited song selection on mobile devices, and the sweet, sweet feeling of no ad interruptions.

While these reports have not yet been confirmed by Spotify, it at least appears that the exclusivity may only affect newer releases and not a significant portion of the service's 30 million-plus song selection.

Spotty-fy library

Spotify was reportedly planning more features rather than less for its unpaid listeners, on top of other additions for Premium subscribers such as original podcasts and testing out lossless audio streaming.

However, as major labels have made it known that they aren't so keen on the ad-supported tier, it appears Spotify has its hands tied while renegotiating its music rights.

Though Spotify seems fully intent on keeping the free-to-listen version of its service alive, it doesn't have much in the way of peers to compare itself to. 

Competitors like Tidal and Apple Music don't have any long-term free accounts, instead relying on exclusive deals with certain artists and limited-time trial periods to promote its monthly subscriptions.

We've asked Spotify for comment, and will update this story as details develop.