Though Spotify has always had a mobile presence, users previously had to pay $10 for a “premium” service in order to access Spotify’s content on a mobile device. The music giant has just announced a free music streaming feature that allows users on tablets and smartphones to access several new features. 

Listen for Free, With a Few Caveats

The new mobile offerings include an ad-supported feature that will let users enjoy free music streaming on both iPad and Android tablets, according to Venture Beat. Users can now use a shuffle-based radio streaming feature on Android and iOS smartphones that allows you to listen to music, but doesn’t allow users to select specific songs. Users can still star songs and add them to their radio station, but they will have to listen to ads in between songs and their ability to skip tracks will be limited. The offline listening function is also being completely disabled on both of these tablet and smartphone free options.

Though the new program certainly don’t bring all of Spotify’s trademark features to mobile, it lets users who haven’t been able to check out Spotify’s robust music catalog a chance to try out the service. “What’s fantastic is that we’ve really become synonymous with the idea that access has become the leading model to enjoy music,” Daniel Ek, Spotify’s founder and CEO, said during a press event.

Luring More Subscribers Through Mobile

Ek went on to say they did not want these new features to resemble “another radio type service,” like competitors iTunes Radio and Pandora, and decided to make their “most popular” feature available at no cost. He added that these free offers are intended to entice users to eventually upgrade to the advanced features that come with a monthly $10 subscription.

This approach has worked well thus far with the desktop model. Earlier this year, Spotify announced that it had around 24 million monthly active users, and of those users 6 million — about 25 percent — were paying subscribers. If Spotify can attract mobile subscribers at a similar rate, there is substantial potential for growth. 

Plenty of online services offer free music streaming for consumers, and players like Pandora have dominated the mobile scene in recent years. However, Spotify has built quite a loyal fan base on desktop computers, and they’re hoping that these new free offerings on mobile devices will help lure in consumers who have been enjoying free music from other companies.

Do you plan to check out these free music streaming features from Spotify on mobile devices? 

Image courtesy of MorgueFile


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