Music-on-demand service Spotify offers a simple promise: Listen to almost any song you want any time you want. But up until now if you’ve wanted to do that on a mobile device you’ve needed to pony up $10 per month for a Premium subscription. Only desktop users could access a free, ad-supported version of Spotify.
Free music streaming is available on phones and tablets. The only catch is that Spotify will insert ads in your music stream from time to time, much like a radio station… if radio stations played full albums.
You can search or browse for tracks, artists, or albums, choose from pre-selected playlists, or listen to Spotify Radio, which is the company’s alternative to Pandora, offering a stream of similar songs by different artists based on genre or an artist of your choice. But Spotify Radio has been free for mobile users since mid-2012, it’s the free on-demand music that’s new.
Spotify isn’t exactly the only company in the streaming music business these days. Rdio, Songza, Google Play Music, and others all offer similar services. But it’s hard to complain about the company’s latest pricing scheme… and if you’re not happy with the barrage of ads, you can always pay for a Premium account.
Or you can just buy music that doesn’t disappear if you stop paying or if a licensing deal expires. But you’d have to pay a lot more than $120 per year to get the amount of music available from Spotify and other streaming music services.