Global music streaming market leader Spotify probably has no reason to fear being dethroned in the near future, but further down the line, Apple’s rapidly growing on-demand tunes playing service could definitely reign supreme.
Recently listed on the New York Stock Exchange, the Sweden-based company also has a bit of a piracy problem, as a whopping two million free users are said to be constantly finding a way around mandatory ads.
Instead of simply cracking down on restriction-dodging tactics, Spotify has decided to vastly improve the platform’s unpaid experience, which may seem like a counterintuitive method of boosting those all-important “Premium” subscriber numbers.
But the way Spotify sees it, if more people try out the app and are satisfied with the free tier, the more chances they choose to upgrade to the $9.99 monthly plan. Spotify Premium perks and add-ons still include unlimited skips, offline listening capabilities, high quality audio performance, the entire library at your disposal at all times, and of course, no ads.
As for exactly what’s new in “personalized discovery”, by far the most important change is the addition of on-demand playlists. Only 15 of them, but that’s still a pretty big deal, as you’ll now be able to “pick and play any track” within these carefully assembled lists without paying a dime.
You can also get curated playlists immediately after signing up, based on artists you love, and the new home screen will be constantly updated to reflect your ever-shifting preferences. Recommendations are now available as soon as you start liking and hiding songs, you can create your own personal playlists, and last but not least, a Data Saver feature aims to help you, well, save data while streaming free tunes.
The redesigned new “free experience” is set to roll out “globally to all markets” in the “coming weeks” on both iOS and Android.