(Spotify website, as of Wednesday morning)
Because music fans not only want free music, they’ve been accustomed to it since 1998. And as the lines between laptop, tablet, and mobile become blurrier and blurrier, why should music services be slaves to history? With that in mind, Spotify has radically shifted its previous restrictions on mobile and tablet listening, heralding a new level of free access. That includes huge relaxations for non-paying users on smartphones, and a complete relaxation of restrictions for iPad and Android tablet users.
“Did we mention it’s free?”
Spotify press release, issued Wednesday.
Which means, there is now far less difference between Spotify’s laptop and smartphone experience, and essentially no difference between a tablet and laptop experience. “As tablets are becoming the new desktops, Spotify users can now enjoy the same free, on-demand experience on iOS and Android tablets as they do on their computers,” Spotify CEO Daniel Ek explained.
“We’re giving people the best free music experience in the history of the smartphone and the tablet.”
The move comes alongside a number of massively-leveraged expansions at Spotify. That includes a fresh, $250 million investment round, and – as of this morning – an expansion into 20 more countries and an important Led Zeppelin exclusive (more on those moves ahead).
Here’s a quick look at the relaxed mobile features, which most likely required expensive licensing modifications with the major labels:
- Playlists: Ability to listen to all playlists created, as well as those from people you follow.
- Favorite artists: Free users can listen to the entire catalog of an artist on shuffle (unlike Pandora). “No settling for one track every 20 minutes,” Spotify described.
- Discovery: Ability to listen to playlists matching mood, genre, or ‘moments in time.’
- Tablets: No difference from the laptop/PC experience.