Quantcast

SPOTIFY MOBILIZES

Carter, Soverstrom and Zafar

Spotify is improving its free tier on mobile devices for the first time in four years, adding elements to encourage greater discovery of new music and offering access to playlists, company execs announced Tuesday morning at NYC’s Gramercy Theatre.

These improvements, Global Head of Creative Services Troy Carter asserted, "are a big part of our future growth opportunities."

Users can now access up to 15 playlists, including RapCaviar and New Music Friday, and play songs on demand for the first time.

The interface has been simplified, with a reduced number of tabs on the home screen.

The mobile free tier is a brand-new version that offers the same options found on premium tier, giving users more control. New licenses from the labels allow Spotify to offer 40 hours of personal music recommendations per week.

New tools for discovery will also be built into the new mobile app, enabling users to listen and access help playlists with recommendations of similar music.

"The more the user engages, the better," said VP of Product Development Babar Zafar. "The home screen is always based on your tastes." These improvements result in "much more control, much more personalization," he added.

The new mobile app will have a "significant impact on the entire music industry," Spotify Chief R&D Officer Gustaf Soverstrom proclaimed. "We're in the business of discovery. Others just provide access."

Soverstrom described Spotify as both the radio station and the record store for users.

There are more than 90m on the free tier, he revealed.

During the event, the execs were peppered with questions about payments to artists and the advertising-revenue splits that they largely avoided addressing in detail. Carter, who sees his business as creating partnerships with artists, said that working with younger artists has benefits on the money side.

"When you're looking at the old model with physical, you get a one-time payment,” he explained. “With streaming, there's a string of perpetual payments.  Artists who are not locked into the CD model understand it better."

Carter used the example of indie artist Garrett T. Capps, who landed a track on Showtime's Billions after Brian Koppelman heard him on Spotify. Cupps, who has no manager, will release an album in May. He has a host of new followers on Spotify.

"Discovery will happen like this more and more often," Carter promised. "Artists are seeing value in both services. They can’t afford to ignore [the free] audience."

The key differentiators between the new free and premium tiers will be the absence of ads, full control and offline access, the execs pointed out.

Bullet points:

  • New app offers the same daily-mix playlists, Discover Weekly and Release Radar found on the pay tier, as well as a newly created "self-driving playlist."
  • Accelerates the ability to understand what the user wants, beginning on day one.
  • A “playlist assistant” provides suggestions.
  • Announced they’d managed to reduce mobile data usage by up to 75%.
  • New data-saver button helps lower data consumption.
BHM PREVIEW: THE RHYTHM OF CULTURE, THE BLUES OF HISTORY
Let's start with a little lesson. (1/27a)
GLASS ANIMALS' NEVER-ENDING WAVE
British band's long and winding road to #1 (1/27a)
HITS EXEC TODD HENSLEY PROMOTED TO COO IN LIEU
OF RAISE
Want fries with that cow patty? (1/26a)
JNR CHOI'S ROCKET "TO THE MOON"
Buzzing newcomer is part of our latest New & Developing Artists class. (1/27a)
ROY RIFKIND,
1927-2022
Remembering an indie-label pioneer (1/26a)
OOH, LAS VEGAS
You're gonna make a poor boy outta me.
HOW I WISH THAT THERE WERE MORE
...than 24 hours in a day.
PALMS SWEAT, BLACKJACK
on a Saturday night
SIN CITY
Lamborginis and caviar Dry martinis, Shangri-La
 Email

 First Name

 Last Name

 Company

 Country
CAPTCHA code
Captcha: (type the characters above)