A new report from The Wall Street Journal claims Spotify is prepping a free, ad-supported version of its service for mobile devices. The service has allegedly made all the necessary licensing deals to make the free version a reality, forgoing the typical pay structure enforced on mobile users. A free version is currently available to Spotify users, but it’s only accessible through computers. Out of its 20 million active user base around the world, six million of those are paying subscribers. Breaking down the barrier to make its service more accessible to free users would almost certainly drive more traffic to the service.
The upcoming service will offer some limited on-demand features, but will mostly act like Pandora, which offers up suggestions based on the particular station you choose. Another competing music streaming service, iTunes Radio, also offers a similar model with ads. Spotify’s premium model charges customer $10 per month, delivering unlimited, on-demand streaming from over 20 million songs.
An event is allegedly scheduled for next week in New York, but it’s unclear what the company plans on announcing. Offering a free mobile music streaming option would surely be a huge boon to the on-demand service—and generate some monster ad revenue—which is going up against a growing number of alternative options. If anything, it’ll likely attract some new customers to the service if Spotify can manage to feature launch the free version soon, as plenty of folks will get new mobile devices this holiday season.