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Spotify is cracking down on hacked apps that enable premium features for free users

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Spotify is a popular music streaming service with over 159 million users, but most of them are free account holders. That means they get the limited Spotify experience: ad interruptions every 30 minutes, no option to download and play music offline, and they can only listen to playlists on shuffle mode. 

According to TorrentFreak (opens in new tab), however, many free users are using rigged Spotify installation files freely available on many sites to get around those restrictions. All that's required is a user’s legitimate Spotify username and password and some premium features are unlocked.

Spotify is now cracking down on those users, sending emails saying: “We detected abnormal activity on the app you are using so we have disabled it. Don’t worry – your Spotify account is safe.”

The “repeated use of unauthorized apps in violation of our terms” could see the pirated Spotify accounts shut down.

Image: TorrentFreak

Image: TorrentFreak

It’s a dog’s life

The company has already demanded the removal (opens in new tab) of the popular Spotify mod called Dogfood from Github, along with several others that are using Dogfood’s code.

Although the mods don’t unlock Spotify Cast, they do bypass ads and allow unlimited skips.

Currently, there is no information on how many such "hacked" accounts are in use at the moment, though this policing comes just after the company's announcement that it's going public.

Sharmishta Sarkar
Managing Editor (APAC)

Sharmishta is TechRadar's APAC Managing Editor and loves all things photography, something she discovered while chasing monkeys in the wilds of India (yes, she studied to be a primatologist but has since left monkey business behind). While she's happiest with a camera in her hand, she's also an avid reader and has become a passionate proponent of ereaders, having appeared on Singaporean radio to talk about the convenience of these underrated devices. When she's not testing cameras and lenses, she's discovering the joys and foibles of smart home gizmos. She also contributes to Digital Camera World and T3, and helps produce two of Future's photography print magazines in Australia.