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Spotify is updating its free music streaming tier to make it more like the paid tier

Published Apr 11th, 2018 2:54PM EDT
Spotify free tier update
Image: JUSTIN LANE/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock

One of the ways that Spotify became the most popular music streaming app in the world was by opening up much of its service to non-paying users. Unlike many of its rivals, Spotify lets users access much of the service without paying a cent, as long as they’re willing to put up with the occasional advertisement. And now, according to a new report from Bloomberg, Spotify is preparing to give free users yet another reason to stick around.

Sources familiar with the matter tell Bloomberg that Spotify is developing “a new version of its free music service” that will make it easier to use, especially on smartphones. An official announcement is expected “within a couple weeks,” which will mark the company’s first big move since going public at the beginning of the month.

While the desktop, browser and tablet versions of Spotify’s app are all nearly identical to the paid tier (albeit with ads), the free tier on smartphones is far more restrictive. This makes business sense for Spotify — if free users could pick and choose songs on mobile, why would they ever pay? — but when the new version arrives, “free mobile listeners will be able to access playlists more quickly and have more control over what songs they hear on top playlists.”

In other words, the free mobile version of the app is going to be even closer to the paid version after the update.

Spotify sent out invitations to press for an event on April 24th just days ago, but there was no indication on the invite as to what the event would cover. Many speculated that Spotify would be launching a speaker of its own, and while that may be the case, perhaps the new free version will make its debut as well.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.