We're not sure how many Brits use Spotify to actually buy individual tracks, considering that the service is mainly known for streaming and "offline" playback, but the question has suddenly become academic. Anyone in the UK who tries to use the desktop app to buy new music will now be confronted with the message above. It offers little explanation of what's going on but does at least link to a help page that reassures those who already possess unused download credits or gift cards. Spotify sent us the following statement, which is pretty abstract but makes it clear this is more than temporary:
We recently updated Spotify to further simplify the service and pave the way for new features announced at the end of last year. In-app purchases aren't part of this update but we're not ruling out their return. Credits/gift cards already purchased are still redeemable.
Update: We hear from a reader in Sweden that the same thing has happened in that country -- so it probably applies internationally, wherever the download option was originally available. Spotify in the US was already streaming-only, so American users will likely notice no change.