Spotify presents new features and a brand new free tier on mobile

Assisted playlisting, low-data mode, on-demand music… Spotify just updated its mobile app for its free users.

Gustav Söderström, Chief R&D Officer at Spotify, just announced a series of new features for its mobile application during a dedicated event taking place today in New York. Spotify launched its free tier on mobile in 2014. It was originally made to promote the premium version of the streaming platform and to push its free users to subscribe to it. Troy Carter, Head of Creator Services, explained that “If you’re on a date listening to music, you’re not going to want an ad to come on.” That is why the premium version of the website (and the app) allows users to skip ads.

These new features are dedicated to Spotify’s free users. Among them is a playlist-making assistant, called “assisted playlisting” which recommends new songs to the user, and even pictures or names for the playlist itself. Now, users can also listen on-demand to whatever song they want, as many times as they want, as long as they appear on one of the 15 personalized playlists, like Daily Mix, Discovery Weekly or Today’s Top Hits. 750 tracks are available for users on-demand, up to 40 hours of listening. That said, users still have limited shuffle.

A “data saver” mode

Users will also be able to switch to a “data saver” mode. This new system cill will cache music ahead of time to stream via 3G, allowing listeners to stream much more music with wireless data. According to the company, this would allow users to reduce their data consumption up to 75%. Other ways of optimizing the streaming and the app itself should arrive soon, allowing users to save even more data and power.

With its free mobile tier, Spotify hopes, and tries, to get some of its 90 millions free users to subscribe to its services. With 70 millions premium users today, Spotify needs even more new subscribers to keep leading the streaming industry business. Its first competitor, Apple Music, just reached 45 millions paid-users.

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