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.
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