Culture&Arts

Spotify rolls out new music choice features for free users

Spotify rolls out new music choice features for free users

Speaking at New York's Gramercy Theater, Spotify's Gustav Söderström has unveiled a new, free version of the Spotify app that takes advantage of machine learning and AI. First and foremost, the free version of Spotify will no longer be based exclusively on radio-like shuffle listening experiences.

The theme of the conference was clear to users from the minute they walked in: Every song playing over the P.A. had the word "free" in its title, from Cream's "I Feel Free" to Beck's "I'm So Free" to Candi Staton's "Young Hearts Run Free".

Aside from the improved music experience, Spotify is also introducing a new app UI for free tier users, which constantly reminds users of the premium plan.

Included in the 15 playlists is Spotify's popular "Discover Weekly" feature, which is a personalized playlists based on your interests.

While free users now are locked into shuffled songs, Spotify is freeing up more on-demand mobile music.

Spotify's on-demand playlists is set to begin rolling out to the Android app this week, the the update set to reach iOS over the next two weeks. And yes, there will still be ads in the free tier.

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But starting today, Spotify members utilizing its free service on mobile devices will get the ability to select more songs on-demand from 15 playlists.

But for musicians and labels, an expanded Spotify free service which will return smaller per stream payments than on its Premium tier is a much harder sell. Spotify has dubbed this feature "Pick and Play". This may not be important for users without mobile data caps, but it'll come in handy for those who do.

The free tier will continue to be ad-supported, of course, and the goal, as before, is to upsell as many customers as possible to a paid subscription.

On Tuesday, the music streaming platform announced it has redesigned its mobile app for non-paying Spotify users.

Spotify allows users to create and customise their own playlists and browse content using parameters such genre, artist and album searches. The company has 71 million paid subscribers while Apple Music now boasts 38 million members, which Eddy Cue, Apple's senior vice president of Internet software and services, announced last month at South by Southwest according to multiple reports.


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