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News April 26, 2018

Spotify adding more features to its free tier, “now both a radio station and record store”

Staff Writer
Spotify adding more features to its free tier, “now both a radio station and record store”

In its first upgrade to its “freemium” tier in four years, Spotify is to start giving new services to those 90 million users on that tier which were previously only available to Premium subscribers.

These include 15 playlists curated by its executives, and personalised ones as Release Radar, RapCaviar, Daily Mix and Discover Weekly selected on users’ personal tastes from the service’s 35 million licensed tracks.

Previously freemium users were only treated to songs on a shuffle mode. Then shuffle applies to playlists outside of the 15.

According to company executives, this makes Spotify “both a radio station and a record store.”

Spotify’s 90 million Premium subscribers can change their deal to freemium on their next account bill.

“Our customers always tell us that music discovery and listening is a personal experience, and we are enhancing the free experience with this in mind,” Babar Zafar, vice president of product development said.

“This is the beginning of an evolution for Spotify and we will continue to make improvements that mirror our customers’ needs.

“This is not only about giving users a more customised free experience from the day they sign up, but giving them more control over their listening experience so they can easily find and stream their favourites anytime, from anywhere.”

Rather than wait for the system to work out a user’s personal taste, the freemiumers are asked right from the start to nominate which artists are among their favourites.

“Assisted playlisting” allows users to type in a mood or event to get the music to add to the experience.

The songs recommended will come from the 2 billion playlists created by other users and subscribers.

New controls help them manage the data that streaming takes up on mobile phones.

Also of benefit to Spotify users and subscribers is that the company is investing in voice technology.

Speaking at the announcement in New York, Spotify’s Troy Carter emphasised how the new upgrades will affect the music industry, and artists in particular.

60% of its users start out on freemium, and 71% of its active monthly users are under the age of 35.

He said, “10 billion times a month, listeners across both Spotify and Spotify premium stream a new artist they’ve never heard before.”

Spotify says that it has paid $9.8 billion, or 80% of its turnover, to rights owners through the years.

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