Spotify announced on Tuesday that the streaming service would be implementing some exciting new features for users currently taking advantage of the free subscription tier. There are currently 90 million users using the free tier of Spotify's mobile app, and they're hoping that these added improvements will continue to drive up subscription rates.
Spotify's Chief R&D Officer Gustav Söderström announced that this new version will focus on their machine learning model to make more music recommendations based on searched songs and user-created playlists, reports Tech Crunch. This new method is being called "assisted playlisting" and will provide users of the free mobile version to receive more song recommendations based on both the content and names of the playlists they are personally creating.
Another big change will give free users a lot more leeway in their uninterrupted streaming time. As any Spotify subscriber knows, one of the most frustrating parts of the free-tier membership is the limited skip count. With this new update, Spotify is allowing users to listen to any song on-demand as many times as they want without ad interruptions—as long as those songs appear in one of the personalized playlists like Daily Mix, Discover Weekly Today's Top Hits, etc. To put it in perspective, that's about 750 songs that will now be available to stream without ad interruption.
Another big gripe among Spotify users is the high data-usage rates that come with being restricted to online-only listening. Spotify's newest data consumption system will allow users to get around being chained to WiFi by implementing a low data mode called data saver. New optimizations to the interface and utilizing 3G to cache music will give streamers a lot more freedom in their offline listening habits.
With Apple Music subscriptions continuing to rise and rival that of Spotify, the streaming industry has become more and more competitive. Spotify hopes that these latest additions will give them an edge over Apple Music, attracting new users to the free model, and in turn, drive up the amount of paid subscribers as well.