After an initial rollout in Australia, Spotify earlier today pushed out a new listening option for music lovers. Notably, the new option isn’t contained within the existing Spotify app but is offered up as an entirely separate app dubbed Spotify Stations.
The new app, in contrast to the existing Spotify app, doesn’t allow users to play songs on demand. Rather, it’s positioned as more of a music discovery tool. Users can create stations based on artists they enjoy or by picking specific genres. Like Pandora, and similar to the existing Radio feature in Spotify, users can thumbs-up songs they like and thumbs-down songs they aren’t into. Over time, the playlists become more personalized and, if all goes according to plan, should serve up songs more in tune with your music sensibilities.
The app is free, though users who aren’t Spotify subscribers have to deal with ads and can’t skip through songs. It’s worth mentioning that even premium subscribers can’t fast-forward through songs with Spotify Stations.
Speaking to Billboard, a Spotify spokesperson issued the following statement:
At Spotify, we routinely conduct a number of experiments to create better listening experiences for our users. Some of those tests end up paving the way for our broader user experience and others serve only as an important learning. Spotify Stations is one of those tests.
I played around with the app for a bit and overall it seems pretty slick. The interface is intuitive and lends itself towards music exploration without some of the clutter that can sometimes accompany the standalone Spotify app. The music recommendations are also solid, though likely not uniquely different from what one would find in the Spotify app itself. What’s particularly cool is that users can seamlessly hop back and forth between concurrent playlists and pick up right where a song left off.
All that said, if you’re looking for a Pandora-inspired Spotify experience, Spotify Stations is well worth checking out.