Spotify expands free music streaming to mobile devices

Published: 4:04 AM, December 13, 2013
Updated: 4:00 AM, December 14, 2013

SINGAPORE — Spotify is now free on mobile and tablet devices in Singapore, the digital music company announced yesterday.

Spotify said this is the first time a free mobile streaming service has been launched in Singapore. The free mobile streaming offering will be ad-supported, and will have fewer functions compared with the premium service, which costs S$9.90 a month.

Previously only available for free on desktops, the streaming service will have three to six ads per hour for free users. It is currently available on Android and iOS devices.

Premium users will continue to enjoy higher quality music and the ability to save songs for offline play, which the free version does not offer.

While the experience for the free tablet version will be similar to that of the desktop version, the free smartphone version allows users to only listen to music on shuffle mode and not play a specific song on-demand.

Spotify says this is due to the habits of users on smartphones, who usually use Spotify’s browse function before focusing on other things while on the move.

With this new service, Spotify is hoping to convert even more users to its paid service, something which is already happening for desktop users.

“That is what we see happening, Generally, people start with our free service and, over time, they get a bit hooked and they convert to our premium,” said Ms Sunita Kaur, Director of Asia, Spotify, adding that the current conversion rate is at about 20 per cent.

Spotify did not provide the total number of premium subscribers in Singapore. “We are still so new, so the numbers have not quite settled down,” said Ms Sunita. “They are changing on a weekly and daily basis.”

On top of the free streaming service, Spotify has also added music from Led Zeppelin to its collection following an exclusive deal with the British rock legend.