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Spotify lays down the law to users trying to pirate its Premium features

The company warns users that if they try it again, their accounts may be terminated

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Spotify has had enough of hackers trying to engineer ways around paying for its Premium features, and it’s giving customers using those workarounds one last chance to stop.

TorrentFreak, a pirating watchdog, reported that Spotify sent emails to an undisclosed number of recipients warning that the use of such services was against its terms of service and could cost them their account.

The email notifications read: “Dear user: We detected abnormal activity on the app you are using so we have disabled it. Don’t worry — your Spotify account is safe. To access your Spotify account, simply uninstall any unauthorized or modified version of Spotify and download and install the Spotify app from the official Google Play Store.”

Spotify didn’t specify what apps it’s focusing on, but as with many paid-for services, there’s always someone somewhere who’s engineered a way around having to pay for services.

While many users probably know full well they’re tricking the system by using one of the service-pirating apps, there are those caught off guard by the notice and, on Spotify’s community forum, some claimed naivete.

Spotify feels one mulligan is sufficient and reaffirmed its intent saying, “If we detect repeated use of unauthorized apps in violation of our terms, we reserve all rights, including suspending or terminating your account.”

What people are trying to get for free

For an average of $120 a year, Spotify’s Premium subscribers get ad-free streaming, the option to download songs so they can listen offline, unlimited skips, shuffle play, and high quality audio. Non-paying users are limited to shuffle play.

The service’s Premium tier ranges from $4.95 a month for students, $9.95 for the general public, and $14.95 a month for its family plan.

Tightening the security of its service is of prime importance for the music streaming company. Just last week, Spotify filed for an IPO in hopes of capitalizing on an estimated worth of $23 billion, and it can’t afford to let its revenue stream be watered down.

In its filing, the company claimed 71 million paying subscribers -- nearly 45 percent of its total user base -- going as far as saying it believed that figure “is nearly double the scale of our closest competitor, Apple Music.”

Not your grandfather’s transistor radio

With traditional terrestrial radio and record stores flat on its back in today’s digital world, personalized music streaming services like Spotify, Amazon Music, and Apple Music have broken out as the music industry’s saviors. Or, to put it in Spotify’s words, “You are what you stream.”

There’s no telling where music stream subscriptions will end up, but devices like the Amazon Dot and Google Home are carving out new space in the digital world in hopes of making music available anywhere, anytime, anyhow.

Amazon said it sold “tens of millions” of Alexa-enabled devices worldwide over the 2017 holidays, and Google claims it sold “more than one Google Home device every second since Google Home Mini started shipping (in October).”

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