Spotify, the world’s most popular music streaming service, is now free on iOS, Android, Windows Phone 8 and selected Blackberry mobiles. The mobile app lets you listen to your favourite artists, albums or playlists free, but with the free service all tracks play in Shuffle mode, and you’ll hear occasional short ads.
The free app has Airplay support so you can stream easily to an Airplay-equipped stereo (like those from Yamaha or Denon), and it serves up a ton of curated playlists to make listening and discovery simple.
We’re giving it a run now and liking it so far (apart from the occasional crash!). However, one of the big criticisms of Spotify is the low rate of royalties they give to the artists – just a few hundredths of a cent each time a track is played. So we have a teeny moral issue with it, and given the extra features and low cost of the Premium service at just $11.99 / month we think Premium is well worth the money.
Spotify Free vs Premium
The free version of the app gives you:
- Playback of artists, albums and playlists in shuffle mode only
- Airplay support
- 160kbps streaming (OGG Vorbis format)
- Occasional unobtrusive advertising
The Premium ($11.99/month) version gives you:
- Playback of individual songs, albums and playlists
- Download of music for offline listening
- 320kbps streaming
- Sonos integration
- No advertising
Find out more about the new free Spotify app here >> or just download it directly to your phone. You can upgrade from free to premium or vice-versa at any time.