Spotify held its major media event in New York City today where it announced a new version of its app that lets users play more popular music for free. Spotify says it is also reducing data consumption so users can stream more music without worrying about overages.
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Spotify’s free tier currently offers access to shuffled playlists, but on-demand playback is kept behind the Premium paid tier. With the new version of Spotify’s app, over a dozen popular playlists including Discover Weekly will be available for on-demand playback without shuffling.
Some of these playlists will include personalized recommendations based on user taste. Just like Apple Music, Spotify’s free tier will now ask users to select which artists they like which will fuel the daily updated personalized playlist recommendation.
Spotify also says its new “low data” mode reduces data consumption while streaming by 75% for users with data caps. Spotify also shared its latest subscriber numbers: 71 million paid customers and 90 million free users. That compares to Apple Music’s 40 million paid subscribers (Apple offers a three month trial but no free tier).
In total, the new free tier will include on-demand access to 15 playlists in total (with more playlists available with limitations like shuffle). Spotify is also overhauling both its iOS and Android apps with new organization, local song cacheing, and new recommendation features when building playlists.