Last July, Spotify started allowing smartphone users in the United States to access its streaming radio service through the company’s Android app. While Spotfiy offered different membership tiers, including an invite-based free trial, in order to stream music to your phone, Spotify required users to pay up. Luckily, the access fee for the US turned out to be quite a bit more affordable than what was already being charged abroad, but the fact that it was subscription-based at all no doubt turned-off some users. They may now be reconsidering giving Spotify a chance, as the company has just announced that its Android app will offer free, ad-supported music.
Essentially, the streaming radio features previously only available to users of the paid “premium” membership tier will now be free to all, with the only exception of the introduction of ads; you still vote tracks up or down, which the service keeps using to fine-tune its assessment of your musical tastes. Spotify will continue to offer paid alternatives for users who would rather not put up with any ads, and want access to the rest of the service’s premium features.
In a bit of a reversal of how Spotfiy arrived, taking its sweet time in getting to the US, this new this free Android access is exclusively available to US users, at least for the time being.