Until recently, music fans could only make use of Spotify’s free, ad supported, streaming service on their laptops or computer devices, with the option to be able to stream via their smartphone at a cost. That cost involved a monthly subscription fee which, unsurprisingly, many consumers were reluctant to pay. In a bold and arguably risky move by Swedish company Spotify, however, their popular free service is now accessible to both smartphone and tablet users, meaning that those willing to put up with the advertisements can enjoy most of the benefits of the PC version of Spotify on the move.
This decision by Spotify is, realistically, not a necessarily voluntarily one, but rather one made out of sheer necessity, that is, to keep up with their competitors and maintain their position in the market. With eager competitors sneaking up all over the place to try and lure customers away from the streaming giant, it has never been more important for Spotify to make its once unique service to the market. Every other day it seems a new subscription service is being launched, with mammoth companies such as Google and Apple already launching their own versions. Google Play has already caused much excitement, and it surely won’t be long before Apple’s iTunes Radio, currently available in the US, becomes something much greater than it presently is.
A risky move
Though some may view the move as a risky one, Spotify founder Daniel Ek believes otherwise, stating that he expects that by allowing smartphone users to sample the free, somewhat restricted, version of Spotify on their phones, the company will ultimately gain a plethora of new, paying subscribers as well as expanding their user base and impact on the music industry as a whole. At a recent press conference held in New York, Elk stated that “our very clear mission is getting more people to access and discover more great music,” adding that “along with more free users there will be more subscribers, and that means more revenue back to the industry.”
The decision is also about maintaining their presence on the scene and brand awareness – after all, Spotify makes a huge chunk of its cash from advertisers, and keeping them interested is almost as important as working to get paying customers. Spotify have also made several other bold moves as late, including teaming up with certain ISPs to allow their customers access to Spotify Premium, i.e. all of the features, completely free of charge. To get the most of this of course customer would benefit from a high speed fibre optic broadband connection.
What’s included in the free service for smartphone users
If you are unclear as to just what smartphone users will be able to access and whether it is worth downloading Spotify on to your phone, this graph will come in handy.
In short, you can stream music by a chosen artist via Spotify on your mobile phone, but you cannot search and play a specific song immediately. This is perhaps the biggest downfall of this latest offering and makes it far less attractive a prospect, as playing any song on demand is the most popular of Spotify’s features. Tablet users will still be able to do this, however.