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This may be the new free Spotify


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There have been reports about upcoming changes to Spotify’s free tier of service over the past couple of weeks, and it appears the music service is now serving the updated UI to select users. While The Verge cannot confirm if this is officially the new form of the free version for mobile expected to roll out next week, these UI changes, which include the option to play songs on demand in select playlists, would make the free tier act more like a Premium account. Spotify declined to comment.


Last week, Bloomberg reported these updates would specifically impact mobile users, and a flyer for the company’s upcoming April 24th event recently confirmed that modifications were coming to Spotify mobile.


While there are several notable changes in this version of Spotify free for mobile, perhaps the biggest is the new option to play certain playlists on demand, as seen with the “Gold Edition” playlist above. If a playlist can only be played in shuffle mode, that is now designated with a blue shuffle icon. Previously on the free tier, all playlists could only be played in shuffle mode.




Also new is the way individual songs are displayed while playing. Spotify previously used full-screen art with certain prominent playlists like RapCaviar. Now, that has seemingly rolled it out as a standard. In fact, nearly everything in this version of Spotify free is redesigned, from the Search page, which now has colorful boxed prompts like “Workout” and “Mood” to previews under playlist icons that give a heads-up on the songs contained inside (as seen under “New Music Friday,” above and to the right).


When it comes to the bottom strip of navigation, the Browse button has disappeared, and that content is folded into Search. The Radio button has also disappeared, and the function is nowhere to be found throughout any menus. There’s now also a Premium button to the right, prompting free users to upgrade.


Voice control, a feature Spotify was testing earlier this month, is seemingly not included in the update, for now.


Spotify went public on April 3rd, and its services are available in 61 countries with an overall user base of 159 million that includes ad-supported free listeners and 70 million paying users as of January 2018. The company is forecasting as many as 96 million paid subscribers and a 30 percent increase in revenue to $6.6 billion by year’s end. It’s predicted that the company will likely continue to focus on user subscription growth, and making the free experience better to use is crucial to attracting new people to the service.



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