Spotify Pushes Its Freemium Advantage

Today, Spotify announced an update to its mobile app that emphasizes a key advantage over Apple Music: The free, ad-supported version of its music subscription service.

The new version of the Spotify app will offer three big changes for those in the service’s free tier:

Recommended music. Previously limited to a shuffle mode, those with a free subscription will now receive music recommendations on the fly, and will gain access to 15 music discovery playlists. These recommendations are based on the music you play or add to playlists.

On-demand music. Likewise, those in the free tier can now listen to any music they want, at any time, and for as many times. (The only limitation now is that the music must appear in those music discovery playlists. It amounts to about 750 tracks, or over 40 hours of music.)

Low-data mode. A new data-saver feature will cut data by up to 75 percent, Spotify says. It caches music ahead of time and streams over 3G, so that users can listen to much more music. It will also impact the battery less.

The free tier will continue to be ad-supported, of course, and the goal, as before, is to upsell as many customers as possible to a paid subscription. Indeed, Spotify notes that 60 percent of its Premium subscriptions started out as free users. So the freemium model appears to be working.


Tagged with

Share post

Please check our Community Guidelines before commenting

Conversation 17 comments

  • Daekar

    24 April, 2018 - 12:41 pm

    <p>I think I must be the opposite of the target market for these services. I am so over the "radio" format that all these channels represent. Same vanilla content jumble, different delivery method. Even the more specific "radio stations" are limited – fine for discovery, but obnoxious for anything else once you find things you like. I'm at the point in my musical journey where I don't care about 30 million tracks because I will never listen to most of them… it's like cable TV bundles. Why should I pay for sitcoms, sports, propaganda, er… "news," and all the rest of that tripe when I really just want documentaries and some cerebral humor? The freemium model just ticks me off. </p>

    • BMcDonald

      24 April, 2018 - 1:21 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#265596"><em>In reply to Daekar:</em></a></blockquote><p><br></p><p>You could always get off your wallet and kick them 10 bucks a month. Then start building your own lists and listen to exactly what you want.</p><p><br></p><p>Then again – it's free. And you are complaining?</p><p><br></p><p>B</p>

      • Daekar

        24 April, 2018 - 1:33 pm

        <blockquote><a href="#265609"><em>In reply to BMcDonald:</em></a></blockquote><p>Except many things I want they don't have, and I don't trust large corporations not to screw me in the long term. No boardroom decision can take away my mp3s, including the ones you can't get anymore. </p>

        • BMcDonald

          24 April, 2018 - 2:06 pm

          <blockquote><a href="#265613"><em>In reply to Daekar:</em></a></blockquote><p><br></p><p>Sounds like you have a plan. No need to worry about Spotify then.</p><p><br></p><p>B</p>

          • anchovylover

            25 April, 2018 - 7:29 am

            <blockquote><a href="#265642"><em>In reply to BMcDonald:</em></a></blockquote><p>That sarcasm…I like it, LOL! ?</p>

  • Chris Payne

    24 April, 2018 - 12:58 pm

    <p>That 2nd bullet sounds a lot like "you can have it in any color you want, as long as it's black."</p><p><br></p><p>As a streaming music holdout, I've been awaiting this announcement to see if there's anything that will push my away from my collection of owned MP3s to a streaming service. Not convinced yet.</p>

    • Daekar

      24 April, 2018 - 1:16 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#265601"><em>In reply to unkinected:</em></a></blockquote><p>Agree 100%. Does you no good if you're not a consumer of whatever they seem popular. </p>

    • jrswarr

      Premium Member
      24 April, 2018 - 1:34 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#265601"><em>In reply to unkinected:</em></a> </blockquote><p>I opted to sign up for premium because of all the stuff that wasn't in my collection – and all the stuff I haven't converted to digital – just to darn lazy and old to go through all the effort. Spotify is great and I am listening to music I haven't heard in years from Classical, Big Band Era, Jazz – you name the genre.</p><p><br></p><p>It's worth the 10 bucks that is for sure. I have a couple of Invokes that I am constantly streaming music to, not to mention it makes my commute bearable.</p><p><br></p><p>With the addition of TuneIn on the Invokes, my surface and phone – not only can I have all the music I want – I can listen to all the radio stations I want.</p>

    • Hoomgar

      24 April, 2018 - 2:39 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#265601"><em>In reply to unkinected:</em></a>&nbsp; Ditto.&nbsp; I've fooled with Pandora but haven't ever looked at Spotify yet.&nbsp; This will make me look.&nbsp; Mostly I've done like you and just played my owned music or used YouTube.</blockquote><p><br></p>

    • skane2600

      24 April, 2018 - 4:02 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#265601"><em>In reply to unkinected:</em></a></blockquote><p>My initial interpretation of the 2nd bullet was that prior to this update you could play only those songs that were on the music discovery playlist, but that the limitation would be lifted with the new version. If my interpretation is wrong then you're right that Paul worded it badly since "any music you want" isn't compatible with music only from a list.</p><p><br></p>

    • thisisdonovan

      24 April, 2018 - 6:58 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#265601"><em>In reply to unkinected:</em></a></blockquote><p>If you are a music lover, it's honestly the best money you'll ever spend….. I love it, it's by far the best subscription of anything I have. </p><p><br></p><p>I do have my MP3's uploaded to infective to stream on demand, but nearly all new music makes it onto spotify, it's the best! </p>

  • RM

    24 April, 2018 - 2:38 pm

    <p>I tried Spotify recently because I heard it can play my mp3's. However, I could not find a way to get the Android app to do so. So, I will continue to use something else.</p>

  • lvthunder

    Premium Member
    24 April, 2018 - 2:46 pm

    <p>"So the freemium model appears to be working."</p><p><br></p><p>Doesn't Spotify have financial problems? If so I wouldn't say it's working.</p>

  • iantrem

    Premium Member
    24 April, 2018 - 8:55 pm

    <p>Have heard they are finally start to roll out a block for explicit content. Until this gets sorted, they I'll stick to the free model. The ability to link a Spotify account to the Google Home Mini is great, that my 9-year-old daughter gets to hear the full lyrics to the latest music is not.</p>


Stay up to date with the latest tech news from!

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Thurrott © 2023 BWW Media Group