Spotify updates its free plan, brings data saving feature

Danny Woods
April 25, 2018

Free users will still have to shuffle to listen to songs outside of those select playlists.

Spotify has a lot of competition in the streaming music space, but today it announced a new feature that could set it apart. Not bad for free, although if you factor in that Discover Weekly, Release Radar, and Daily Mix playlists are included, there isn't that much flexibility in your choices. Spotify is also making it possible for users to "like" songs they enjoy and "hide" songs they don't in order to improve its recommendations.

It will roll out globally to users in the next few weeks. The free app is still ad-supported. But many users of Spotify for free around the world aren't able to enjoy music whenever they want, because of the volume of mobile data streaming typically uses. The new free version will now let users listen on-demand without being restricted to shuffle songs on any of the 15 personalised discovery playlists. Of the 157 million users of Spotify's music service, 71 million pay a monthly fee. The updated app includes more flexible access to the Spotify catalog of tracks, with more on-demand control, along with a way to potentially save considerably on how much data your phone is using.

A bigger user base is not necessarily synonymous with more money for artists, and Spotify Global Head of Creator Services Troy Carter was tasked with convincing a still skeptical creator community.

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The introduction of these freemium features is part of Spotify's efforts to convert more free users to paid ones. Just give your playlist a name, search and preview specific tracks, and add to your playlist.

Another important change to Spotify is a new Data Saver mode. As of now, the best way for the company to make more money is to get more people to subscribe to its paid service, Spotify Premium. It also helps differentiate Spotify from its up-and-coming rival Apple Music, which offers a free trial but no free tier.

We've yet to dig into all of the new tweaks made to the Spotify mobile app, but so far the changes look like a step in the right direction for a company chasing growth after going public earlier this month.

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