Spotify Announces Dramatic Overhaul for Free Service Featuring On-Demand Music

Spotify has just announced an overhaul of its mobile app that boosts the freebies, unlocking features that used to be available only to paying customers.

At an event in New York City, the Swedish music giant announced that users who don’t want to pay up for a premium plan will soon be able to get their hands on more features, including the ability to personally choose songs on select playlists.

According to a new report from TechCrunch, users can now pick and play songs in any order from 15 of Spotify’s personalized discover playlists. Previously, users of the free app could only listen to playlists on shuffle.

Users of the free service will be able to listen on-demand to some of Spotify’s most popular playlists, including your personalized Discover Weekly mix and blockbuster hip-hop list Rap Caviar. In total, the pick-and-play lists represents about 750 tracks, or 40 hours, of on-demand music.

“We know it’s the only way we’re going to achieve our goal of getting billions of fans” on the service, said Gustav Soderstrom, chief R&B officer. “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.”

What’s more for users without unlimited wireless data plans, Spotify is offering a data saver feature it claims saves up to 75% of mobile data while streaming.

Spotify has always let users listen to on-demand music for free via an ad-supported option — it’s the main thing that set the company apart from other streaming services in the past.

But it has limited full, free access to its library of songs to desktop users, and limited what free users could get to on its mobile app. Today’s move doesn’t remove those limits entirely, but gives users more opportunity to sample. Paid users get full access to Spotify’s entire catalog, on-demand, without ads.