Spotify adds $5 student plan, but note the fine print
Students at accredited universities can now pay half price for a Spotify Premium subscription, bringing the cost down to $5 per month.
To sign up, you must login through the student section of Spotify's website, and enter your name, college, and date of birth. You can't just sign up with an old university e-mail—Spotify uses SheerID to verify active enrollments—but you can manually upload documents such as your student ID card if the automatic verification fails.
Note the fine print, however: The discount is only good for 12 months at a time, after which you must sign up for the discount again. Spotify is offering a maximum of four yearly discount periods during enrollment, and then it's back to the full price of $10 per month.
Spotify Premium removes all advertisements, provides higher quality audio, allows for offline listening and extends the full on-demand catalog to smartphones. But it's not as big of a step up from the free version as it used to be; in December, Spotify revamped its free service to include to shuffled playlists on smartphones and full on-demand catalog access on tablets.
Spotify isn't profitable, but the company's revenues and percentage of paying customers are both growing. As of March 2013, roughly 25 percent of Spotify users pay for the Premium service, and on average the company pulls in $41 in revenue per users—70 percent of which goes back to rights holders.
Adding the student discount may not significantly bump Spotify's revenue per user, but it could be a long-term play to get people hooked on the Premium service. Once you get used to having a massive catalog of on-demand music on your phone, it can be hard to go back.