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Spotify relaunches free tier with on-demand playlists

by Justin Herrick | April 24, 2018April 24, 2018 2:00 pm PST

Spotify made a major announcement Tuesday morning in New York City. The company revealed an entirely new experience for users who don’t pay a penny to use the service. Aside from redesigning its app, Spotify introduced a number of new features that enhance the way you discover and listen to music on your mobile device.

The decision to overhaul the ad-supported product comes as Spotify aims to accelerate its growth across the board. While there are over 70 million subscribers who pay a monthly fee for unlimited music streaming, Spotify does still host nearly 100 million users who choose the free tier. So it’s no surprise that Spotify wants to continue serving free users.

If the experience gets better, there’s an opportunity to convert them into paid subscribers. Then it’s sizeable lead over Apple Music can widen without worry. Spotify believes a better ‘freemium’ business model is the key to long-term success.

Advertisements remain in place, but they’re not involved if you stick with Spotify’s playlists. The service now curates a little more than a dozen playlists based on your preferences. Don’t like a song? You can skip it. But the flexibility doesn’t stop there. As long as you’re on one of the fifteen Spotify-curated playlists, you can skip as much as you’d like.

The on-demand playlists range from RapCaviar to Viva Latino to Alternative R&B. Also, Spotify has playlists like Discover Weekly, Daily Mix, and Release Radar to send fresh tunes into your ears.

Keep in mind that these playlists are built individually. They’re curated by Spotify for you. When setting up your account, Spotify will have you briefly choose the artists you love. Then the magic happens and the experience is made for your style and mood.

Spotify shows the standard buttons for liking and hiding specific songs or artists, too. Anything you like will go the Favorites playlist, and other songs might appear less frequently. The more recommendations, the more you’ll hear preferred songs or artists.

The company also highlighted Data Saver. Music streaming can eat up a data plan, which is why Spotify sees so many international users stream over Wi-Fi instead of LTE/3G. To combat that, Spotify created a toggle that reduces the amount of data consumed while streaming. Sound quality may be reduced, but you won’t have to worry about burning through your data plan.

Spotify knows the majority of its user base doesn’t pay for the service, and it’s fine with that.

The latest improvements are meant to make free music streaming better than ever. By successfully showing the power of its technology in a still-limited capacity, the goal is to make free users eventually start paying for a subscription.

Users around the world who are using Spotify for free should get the major upgrade in the coming weeks. Although the company didn’t provide a more specific timeline, all users on iOS and Android will have the new Spotify soon no matter their location. Spotify is slowly rolling out the update to catch any issues before all 90 million users are on the latest version.

Spotify

Justin Herrick

Justin is easily attracted to power buttons. His interest in technology started as a child in the 1990s with the original PlayStation, and two...

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