Spotify held an event in Manhatten today to announce some upgrades coming to the service’s free subscription tier. The company says while it has 71 million paid subscribers, there’s still 90 million users who aren’t being billed $9.99 or more a month for the music streaming platform. Therefore, it seems obvious to improve the tier that most people are using.
“Our customers always tell us that music discovery and listening is a personal experience, and we are enhancing the free experience with this in mind,” said Babar Zafar, VP of Product Development at Spotify. “This is the beginning of an evolution for Spotify and we will continue to make improvements that mirror our customers’ needs. This is not only about giving users a more customized free experience from the day they sign up, but giving them more control over their listening experience so they can easily find and stream their favorites anytime, from anywhere.”
For starters, there are now ways to play music on-demand without paying for Spotify. Whereas with a Premium subscription you could play any song you wanted whenever you wanted, Free members would be forced to hit the shuffle button if they wanted to play music. Now, Spotify says they’ll be making 15 of their playlists such as RapCaviar and Discovery Weekly available to free users to play whatever song they want in the list. While it’s not exactly the same as playing your own music in your library, it is a step in the right direction.
Spotify for free is also getting more personal. With today’s updates, the service will ask you what artists you’re in to and build a playlist off of that called Daily Mix. Every day, the list will refresh with new songs to listen to on-demand. You’ll also be able to quickly save songs to your library by hitting the Like ♡ button and hide songs by hitting the Hide ⃠ button.
Considering free users can’t download their songs for offline listening, Spotify is making streaming less intensive on your data. In the app, there will now be a Data Saver toggle which you can turn on to reduce the amount of data consumption by up to around 75%. This should help those who like to listen to music on the go who may not have unlimited data.
Finally, the entire Spotify app is seeing a major redesign for both free and paid users. Rolling out over the coming weeks to iOS and Android, the app now has cleaner visuals and easier methods of navigation. Menus are less confusing, the player is cleaner, and the overall aesthetic seems more modern.
All of these changes should start rolling out to Spotify users in the very near future.