There is a bunch of news outlets saying that Spotify has now made streaming music free on mobile devices but that isn’t exactly accurate.
Until this most recent announcement non-premium Spotify users could use Spotify Radio for free on their mobile devices. Spotify Radio worked like this; a user chooses a song or artist and then starts a pseudo-radio-station based on that song or artist. They’d hear an ad or two while they listened to tracks that Spotify chose for them based on the song or artist they chose.
Starting today, however, non-premium Spotify users are no longer limited to listening to only Spotify Radio but are able to shuffle a chosen artist or one of their own hand-crafted playlists on their mobile devices. They’ll still hear ads from time-to-time.
What makes this nice is that non-premium Spotify users have much more control over the songs that get played on their mobile device. Want to hear nothing but John Mayer? You can do that. Before you couldn’t as the behind-the-scenes tech which chose tracks “related” to John Mayer would choose just about anything for you to listen to. Want to hear only songs from your “80s Hairband Remix Playlist”? Now you can. Whereas before this wasn’t even an option.
An unrelated personal note about Spotify: I’m a Spotify Premium user and have been for several months. I think the service is pretty good and I’m glad they are adding more options for mobile users whether they pay or not. The only thing I want from Spotify at this point is a family or shared plan. Please?