Falling in line with reports from last week, Spotify has today announced an important update to its mobile app to make it a lot more accommodating for the 90+ million free users of their streaming service. This new experience will roll out globally in the coming weeks on both Android and iOS platforms.
Spotify users in the free tier, which has been revamped for the first time since 2014, will now have access to fifteen ‘on-demand’ playlists suited to their liking. These playlists allow you to pick out and play any song at random, without getting stuck with the shuffle button to listen to your favorite tracks. These on-demand playlists are unique to users, curated based on their musical taste, and will include Spotify-curated playlists like Release Radar, Rap Caviar or others. This amounts to a total of 750 songs, which are usually refreshed on a daily basis.
The on-demand playlists are the highlight feature of this Spotify update as it finally doles out some control to free tier users. They were previously handed almost nothing, except for access to all the latest songs.
The basic functionality of Spotify’s mobile app remains pretty much the same, except for some prominent UI changes. You’ll still be asked to choose your music preference, artist, and songs so that Spotify can give you access to curated playlists from the get-go. You’ll now see a four-tabbed navigation bar at the very bottom of the screen, with a clean and minimal homescreen upfront.
This is followed by search, which now also suggests you more tracks to queue or add to your playlist, your library where you can create and manage personal playlists and finally the premium tab to get the subscription if you’re enjoying the experience. “Playlists are the key to creating a mood, whether it’s morning workout or weekend dance party, and now it’s even easier to create and edit a playlist with Spotify. Just give your playlist a name, search and preview specific tracks, and add to your playlist. As you save songs, we’ll continue to suggest more songs that we think you will like.”
Talking about the app update, Spotify’s Product Development VP Babar Zafar said the changes were “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”.
Spotify has also included a data saver feature, which as the name suggests allows users to get a mobile-optimized version of the tracks which would save on those precious MBs in your data plan. This also seems to be the feature that most indicates Spotify’s expansion to newer markets such as India where data-saving is a big USP.
And the free tier was all Spotify talked about at its New York event today. It didn’t shed a light on its efforts on voice or hardware, which have been making sneaky appearances on the Internet for quite some time now. We’ll have to wait to hear back from Spotify to learn more on what it plans to do next, now that it has gone public earlier this month.