Spotify, the music-streaming service that went public on Wall Street last week and launched in SA just last month, has decided to beef up its free tier for music listeners to try and source more subscribers — we all start out on a free account, after all.
Sources at Bloomberg said that the Stockholm company is changing the free service to make it more accessible, adding more features that were previously only available to paid subscriptions. Their main focus is to reach more users who prefer listening to music on mobile devices. These plans are still technically under-the-radar, (so sshhh), but an announcement is expected within the next couple of weeks.
Their new free tier will allow access to even more music content than before, allowing these users access to more playlists, while also giving listeners increased control over what they can listen to in top playlists. If you are not quite used to the Spotify interface and available features, have a look here for a crash course.
The aim of this upgrade strategy is to reach more users, in order to impress investors after their big move to being a public company, even if those users are registered on the free tier only. Investors like big numbers, and that’s what Spotify wants to give them. They had 157 million users at the end of 2017, and this included only 71 million paid subscribers. Which is fine — because now they are raking in more free subscribers to try and convert them into paid subscribers.
They have received negative feedback from musicians saying that they cannot give free users access to large amounts of music (although the free tier includes ads), but the Swedish company keep on resisting, saying that they want to be able to compete with the largest free video-streaming service in the world, YouTube.
Users of Spotify’s free service are unable to listen to every song in the library on-demand but they can listen to most major playlists and songs on shuffle. So if you are into anything that isn’t really mainstream, or if you would like personalised playlists just for you, paid is the way to go. The paid version is only R60 p/m and it’s well worth it.