Spotify overhauls its free service with new features and options

25 Apr 2018

Spotify logo. Image: Dennis Mikheev/Shutterstock

Those who use the free version of Spotify will be pleased with the new changes.

Spotify is the leading streaming company in the world and its year has already been jam-packed so far, with it going public last March.

The Swedish firm’s head of R&D, Gustav Söderström, announced yesterday (24 April) that the app is launching a brand new, overhauled free tier.

Future Human

Free version gets a boost

The new tier will recommend music to users, using Spotify’s machine-learning technology. In the regular free version, users were limited to shuffle only, while this new version will let users listen on demand to whatever songs they want, as many times as they want – as long as the songs in question appear on one of the 15 personalised discovery playlists such as Discover Weekly or Release Radar.

This amounts to approximately 750 tracks that the company is allowing users to enjoy on demand. The free mobile version will also make recommendations based on existing user-made playlists in a feature called ‘assisted playlisting’.

Spotify wants you to use less data

A new mode called ‘Data Saver’ is also being introduced by the platform, and it cuts consumption of mobile data by up to 75pc. The system caches tracks ahead of time and they can then be streamed via 3G. As well as using 3G, Spotify will also optimise the streaming itself as well as UI elements within the app.

Advertisements will still run on this free tier of Spotify.

A potential rival for Spotify and Apple Music may be on the cards in the form of YouTube Remix, a platform rumoured to be launched by Google later in 2018.

According to Engadget, Google will pull the shutters down on Google Play Music to make way for the new platform, which can be thought of as a hybrid of YouTube Music and Google Play Music.

At this point in time, it is difficult to tell whether such a product will pass muster against the likes of Spotify in the competitive world of music streaming.

Ellen Tannam was a journalist with Silicon Republic, covering all manner of business and tech subjects