On Tuesday morning Spotify announced a pretty big change to its mobile app. At an event in New York City, the Swedish music giant announced that users who don’t want to pay up for a premium plan will soon get their hands on a lot more features, including the ability to personally choose songs on select playlists.
The updated mobile app will allow users of Spotify’s free plan to select up to 750 songs a day from personalised playlists like the Daily Mix, Discover Weekly, Release Radar, and Spotify’s own editorial playlists like RapCaviar. The update will be rolling out globally over the next few weeks, Spotify said. If you really love Today’s Top Hits and want to hear Post Malone’s hypnotic track “Psycho” on a major playlist, that’ll be available to free users without any friction.
The updated free version of Spotify’s mobile app will include algorithmically suggested songs for user-created playlists. It’ll also include a data saver option which can apparently decrease the app’s mobile data usage by as much as 75 percent.
Spotify directly listed on the New York stock exchange earlier this month. Even with over 70 million paying subscribers and 157 million total users, Spotify needs to continue to grow and build a more sustainable business. Behind these new features that Spotify’s giving away, the company appears to be arguing that if it offers more up front, it’ll eventually be able to convert more paying users in the long run.
Rumours swirled ahead of today’s announcement, as some speculated Spotify would announce a hardware device that would go in a car in an attempt to replace radio. That product wasn’t announced today. Instead, Spotify revealed a tweak to its core platform. Though it wasn’t mentioned directly, Spotify seems to have focused on international markets with today’s upgrade—markets that are typically more resistant to subscription models. A slide in Spotify’s presentation showed that a country like Vietnam featured a large majority of users who rely on Wi-Fi, hence the upcoming data-saving feature.