Spotify is throwing its weight into the free part of its service. Access to all music “something for nothing” is their goal to massive growth and to ward off Apple Music’s burgeoning threat to their leadership.The new features for free listening is designed toward a huge amount of personalization. Spotify will offer 40 hours a day of easily accessed free music. The hope, said execs at a morning press conference in New York, is that this plan will spur new subscribers to their premium service.
Spotify is also helping customers who have caps on data plans. They’re optimizing usage to lower mobile data by at least 75 percent. They’re also simplifying the mobile interface.
The Spotify execs who made the presentation this morning were upbeat and positive. But the news wasn’t exactly what was expected. All week there had been buzz about a possible piece of Spotify hardware for the car or some kind of dedicated player. This news about “Freemium”– as they call it– is good for listeners, certainly.
But it raised a lot of questions that no one is prepared to address yet– as in how this will affect artists’ royalties, and what it really means for Spotify’s premium service. The execs feel this will spur users to pony up for the premium service. Troy Carter, director of Creator Content, said to one reporter (not me): “Come on, you know if you’re on a date you don’t want to hear those ads.” It got a laugh– because it’s true.