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

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, 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 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)

While she's happiest with a camera in her hand, Sharmishta's main priority is being TechRadar's APAC Managing Editor, looking after the day-to-day functioning of the Australian, New Zealand and Singapore editions of the site, steering everything from news and reviews to ecommerce content like deals and coupon codes. While she loves reviewing cameras and lenses when she can, she's also an avid reader and has become quite the expert on ereaders and E Ink writing tablets, having appeared on Singaporean radio to talk about these underrated devices. Other than her duties at TechRadar, she's also the Managing Editor of the Australian edition of Digital Camera World, and writes for Tom's Guide and T3.