Spotify's Subscription-Free Shuffle Mode Arrives for iOS Devices
The Swedish music streaming service, Spotify, recently released an update to its iPhone and iPad apps that officially enable new subscription-free streaming features the company promised last month. Users accessing the Spotify service on their iPhone can now stream any artist’s entire catalog without a paid subscription, though playback is restricted to shuffle mode on Apple’s handsets. Both user-created and Spotify-curated playlists can also be streamed at no cost with the same shuffle-only restriction.
It should be noted that those using the service’s iPad app are not subject to the same limitations. The update allows tablet owners to stream any song at any time, though audio advertisements will still be present. For those of you who didn’t know, Spotify previously required mobile users to have a paid subscription as a condition of its licensing agreements with music labels. Word that the company was seeking to eliminate that constraint surfaced last February and the new plans were officially announced in December.
The feature availability is a result of increasing pressure from established competitors such as Pandora and new threats such as Apple’s iTunes Radio, which offers ad-supported streaming for free on most Apple devices. Despite its popularity, the service continues to bleed money and was forced to seek $200 million in new venture financing last November.
Those of you interested in downloading Spotify version 0.9.2 can do so for free from the App Store.