Spotify Announces Upgrade for Free Service to Increase Paying Subscribers
Spotify is making some huge changes for streamers using the platform’s free service.
Spotify announced a series of improvements to its free service at a press event on Tuesday. The company says these changes will help boost the number of users on its paid premium service.
According to a report in Variety, enhancements to the streaming service’s mobile app is among these changes. Users will have more control over how to explore, more access to playlists and other music, greater recommendations when building playlists, and a reduction in the amount of data used. A smaller update will allow the service to cache songs that listeners are likely to want to hear based on previous listening habits.
“We know it’s the only way we’re going to achieve our goal of getting billions of fans” chief R&B officer Gustav Soderstrom said as the press conference. “We’re doing this because we know it will drive growth: the better our free experience the more likely it is that free users will become premium users.”
Global head of creator services Troy Carter spoke about the new model’s impact on artists, who would be suspicious of expanding the services free options as their assumed expense.
“We’re serious about wanting to help a million artists,” Carter said, adding, “But in order to do that we have to get more people on the platform.”
But with a dramatically improved free service, why would users opt to pay for premium?
“More control, much better personalization to help discover new music, no ads” vp of growth Babar Zafar noted at the press event. He stated that a “Select data saver” option can save up to 75% of mobile data, and that more improvements on data usage are in the works.
More than 90 million Spotify users are reportedly on free tier, and 60% of its paying users in 2017 started out as freemium users.
“If 71 million people paid out of 150 million, just imagine if we scaled that to the size of broadcast radio.” And with more than 2 billion social-media users world-wide, Soderstrom added, “Music is potentially bigger than social media networks.”