Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Businesses Music

Spotify Is Planning a New Version of Its Free Music Service (bloomberg.com) 64

An anonymous reader shares a report: Spotify Technology is developing a new version of its free music service, the first big product change since the streaming company went public last week, according to people familiar with the matter. The company is tweaking the free service to make it easier to use, especially for customers on mobile phones, said the people. An announcement is expected within a couple weeks. Spotify needs to attract large numbers of new listeners to satisfy investors who value the newly public company based on user growth. The free service generates customers that the company can steer into its paid offerings. The paid version accounts for less than half of Spotify's customer base, but generated about 90 percent of its 4.09 billion euros in 2017 revenue. [...] With the updated service, free mobile listeners will be able to access playlists more quickly and have more control over what songs they hear on top playlists, mimicking Spotify's ad-free subscription product. The basic package is $9.99 a month.

Spotify Is Planning a New Version of Its Free Music Service

Comments Filter:
  • by DontBeAMoran ( 4843879 ) on Wednesday April 11, 2018 @11:33AM (#56418071)

    And here lies the problem. If I can subscribe to Netflix and watch TV shows and movies for less than $10 per month, then I want to pay less than Netflix to listen to music.

    At $5 per month I'd start to think about it. At $3 per month I wouldn't even think about it and just subscribe.

    • Not two minutes ago I got spam'ed offering to add Hulu for $3 a month -- $12.99 for both seems like a good deal.
    • by ctilsie242 ( 4841247 ) on Wednesday April 11, 2018 @11:52AM (#56418151)

      For $10 a month, I can watch YouTube Red and use the YouTube Music app, which seems to have more bands that are not carried by Spotify. Plus, what sets them apart from Google Music or Apple Music, either of which I wouldn't require additional software to work?

      • by gnick ( 1211984 )

        My $5 Pandora subscription streams commercial-free with as many skips as I want. For $10, I could pick specific songs. It's well worth the $5; I don't understand the comparison with Netflix. It's lower bandwidth, sure, but I spend a LOT bigger part of the day streaming music than I do watching Netflix. So, $/GB, music's much more expensive. $/hour, for me, music's much cheaper.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          As much as I hated to do it, I recently switched from Pandora to Spotify after many years of loyalty to (and borderline-fanboy evangelism about) the former.

          There are things I hate about the Spotify UI, and things I miss about Pandora - namely, shuffling multiple 'stations'/playlists - but here's the thing: Spotify has a waaay bigger library. If you're really into music discovery the way I am, that one factor outweighs all others. No matter how I tried, toward the end there Pandora kept playing me too muc

          • by gnick ( 1211984 )

            I have a ~270 hour mp3 collection that handles listening to my favorite albums. I spend probably as much time listening to albums at home as I do listening to satellite in my car. I listen to much more Pandora than I do either of those. I do notice that a lot of Pandora gets familiar, but lately it's been surprising me with some fun, live Grateful Dead. Maybe their library will eventually get too familiar, but I'm not there yet.

            • Does Pandora even allow you to choose what you listen to? I tried it out back around 2008 and from what I remember you couldn't select songs and you could only skip tracks a certain number of times per hour.

              My car does have the required hardware for satellite radio, but I don't see the point when I can download music to my phone. Plus my car has an in-dash music server. I don't listen to any live broadcasts since they had ads.

              • by gnick ( 1211984 )

                Does Pandora even allow you to choose what you listen to? ...I remember you couldn't select songs and you could only skip tracks a certain number of times per hour.

                You can certainly tune your different stations by Liking/Disliking songs or picking artists. The station I listen to most started with Pick Floyd, the Grateful Dead, and R.E.M. and has changed shape quite a bit with 206 likes & 44 dislikes. It knows me very well at this point. Significant Floyd & Dead, lotsa classic rock, and just the right amount of metal. "Dogs" is on right now and that's just super.

                On Pandora's free tier, you can't select songs, have limited skips, and hear ads. On the $5 tier, l

    • Support FM broadcast radio which has always been free (and I don't want to hear anyone say "oh but it's not free there are commercials!", stop whining and turn down the damned volume or switch to another station if you can't handle it).
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Support FM broadcast radio which has always been free (and I don't want to hear anyone say "oh but it's not free there are commercials!", stop whining and turn down the damned volume or switch to another station if you can't handle it).

        Problem is that all the stations seem to go to commercial at the same time. I'm not willing to listen to 20-30 minutes of commercials an hour on FM radio. I quit listening in 2002 and have no plans to ever listen again. The few times I have had to (rental car) I had to turn it off. The commercial load is just ridiculous.

        • You're exagerating and you're also not factual. I listen to the radio all the time when I'm driving and it's nowhere near as bad as you're claiming.
          • While his "20-30 mins of commercials an hour" is a bit of an exaggeration, it's not THAT big of an exaggeration. When you consider all the promos they do, "partnering" with local businesses, self promotions and all the other crap, you end up with about 20 mins of music an hour. And Clear Channel owns a very large number of stations, usually owning multiple stations in large metro areas, so yeah, changing the station in those areas is likely to get you nothing but more commercials.

            Personally, I stopped liste

            • Well I dunno about where you live but it's not anywhere near that bad where I am, and furthermore it's not really any different than it's been for the last 20 years at least. You hop around stations when there's commercials just like always, they don't all always line up. It's fine for free.
              • by gnick ( 1211984 )

                FM's not nearly as bad as Spock describes here in Albuquerque, and I can't imagine Clear Channel stations differ THAT much from region to region. I'm used to maybe 3 songs, followed by changing the station to avoid ads. Worst case, ad breaks aren't more than about 3 minutes per 3 songs.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            It's awful, and that's the point. When Clear Channel... sorry, "iHeartMedia" owns 75% of the channels in your market (and every market) they absolutely do time their commercials together.

            I stopped supporting FM radio a LONG time ago.

            • If more people supported it over time it would get 'less awful'. As is you're all going to be paying cash out of pocket every month for basically the same thing. You may as well just give up and carry your own music and forget all about the rest.
              • No, I am paying each month so I can play any song I want, when I want. I pay each month so I can save playlists, and have them played back from my devices when I'm offline. I pay each month so I can discover new music, based on the feedback of other users who make recommendations based on the artists I like. I pay each month so I can play them on my phone, my tablet, my computer, or in my car. I pay for high-quality audio. I pay so my stations can be specifically geared to my interests, and to artists I lik

                • pay each month

                  Yah? I think that's dumb. BUY the music you want, play it as many times as you like, never pay again, don't use up your data cap on a mobile device, don't need Internet. Go right ahead and keep buying in to the business model of "you own nothing, everything is a rental".

                  • There it is, the core of your hatred. The "rental" model is your real grumble.

                    I have bad news for you: This is now the way the world works. It's all based on "services" that you pay for. Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, HBO Now, hell, Adobe Creative Cloud Car2Go... You pay for the service.

                    On the one hand, you never "own" the music, movie or software you're renting. On the other hand, you have unlimited access to as much as the service provides. If I were in constant states of disconnection, or needed the portability

                    • I don't and won't agree. In the last 10 years I've gotten rid of 'services' that you have to pay for in perpetuity because they never pay for themselves. Owning your own stuff is always better and I'm not drinking their Kool-aid -- and I'm far from alone in feeling this way about this subject. You're being taken for fools.
        • Support FM broadcast radio which has always been free (and I don't want to hear anyone say "oh but it's not free there are commercials!", stop whining and turn down the damned volume or switch to another station if you can't handle it).

          Problem is that all the stations seem to go to commercial at the same time. I'm not willing to listen to 20-30 minutes of commercials an hour on FM radio. I quit listening in 2002 and have no plans to ever listen again. The few times I have had to (rental car) I had to turn it off. The commercial load is just ridiculous.

          I'm afraid I agree. Radio FM and AM is just way too many commercials. Thats why I got XM radio.

        • Problem is that all the stations seem to go to commercial at the same time.

          That's by design. I live in a city with two corporate radio owners, (you probably do too) who each own at least one of each type of station ( classic rock, hip-hop, easy listening etc) which means they are pretty much carbon copies of each other.
          They are also competing in the same advertising market, so having all the stations go to advertising at the same time will be a selling point to their customers.
          My personal view is that commercial radio is a pretty good deal for the listener, as long as there i

      • by hipp5 ( 1635263 )

        Support FM broadcast radio which has always been free (and I don't want to hear anyone say "oh but it's not free there are commercials!", stop whining and turn down the damned volume or switch to another station if you can't handle it).

        Yeah, except in addition to commercials, I also have to endure all their "sound effects SOUND EFFECTS sOuNd EfFeCtS" and the ramblings of some obnoxious DJ telling me the "funny" story of how they were filling up their car this morning and SPILLED GAS ON MY NEW SHOES HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH.

        Nope, FM radio has got to be one of the most painful forms of media in the world. I'll take the free Spotify, thank you very much. And once my financial situation improves, I'll be getting the paid version.

        • by jwhyche ( 6192 )

          Yeah, except in addition to commercials, I also have to endure all their "sound effects SOUND EFFECTS sOuNd EfFeCtS" and the ramblings of some obnoxious DJ telling me the "funny" story of how they were filling up their car this morning and SPILLED GAS ON MY NEW SHOES HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH.

          Oh my god this and a bowl of fruitloops. I don't turn off radio so much for the commercials as I do the fucking Dj and other annoying shit they stick in. Morning shows are the worse. I drove across town one morning, 45 minutes and didn't hear one song. Nothing but morning dj's rambling on about what ever they through was important. Which none of it was. The it was "Bong Bong Bong" every 5 fucking minutes.

    • They do offer $15/mo for 5 accounts... which is the only way Spotify is worth it. The downside is that nobody offers less than $10/mo so it's hard to find a decent alternative that doesn't try to lock you into a specific platform like Apple Music
      • by gnick ( 1211984 )

        nobody offers less than $10/mo so it's hard to find a decent alternative

        Why no love for Pandora? For $5/month I get unlimited skips and no commercials. I love it.

      • They do offer $15/mo for 5 accounts... which is the only way Spotify is worth it. The downside is that nobody offers less than $10/mo so it's hard to find a decent alternative that doesn't try to lock you into a specific platform like Apple Music

        What do you mean "Lock you into a specific platform"? There is an Apple Music Client for Android and iTunes (which is also an Apple Music Client) is available for Windows, too.

        https://play.google.com/store/... [google.com]

        https://www.apple.com/itunes/d... [apple.com]

        Linux, as usual, takes the hindmost, sorry. I guess when it's finally the year of the Linux Desktop, things will be different...

        Wait! They're different NOW! (If you have Ubuntu, at least).

        https://askubuntu.com/question... [askubuntu.com] ...or other Distros:

        http://www.tunefab.com/tutor [tunefab.com]

        • You again? Oh, someone mentioned Apple and you're here to tell everyone how great M4A is and how the DRM in it isn't a lock-in. Let me know when you pull the real Tim Cook's dick uot of your shill mouth. Or better yet, don't.
          • You again? Oh, someone mentioned Apple and you're here to tell everyone how great M4A is and how the DRM in it isn't a lock-in. Let me know when you pull the real Tim Cook's dick uot of your shill mouth. Or better yet, don't.

            Or you could just act like an adult, and simply ignore me.

          • You seem under the impression that AAC [wikipedia.org], which was developed 21 years ago by Bell Labs, Fraunhofer Institute, Dolby Labs, Sony and Nokia, is somehow an Apple-only thing.

            You also seem under the impression that Apple still uses DRM on their audio files, which they stopped doing at the end of march 2009. That's nine years ago.

            I got nothing against people who are critical toward companies but you should at least be angry about something that's actually true.

            • This is a fair comment, but don't you need to subscribe to iTunes Match to get the DRM update/removal feature? And, isn't Apple Music online only, so you'd need to purchase all the files independently which is _way_ more expensive than, say, Spotify which allows you to download individual songs for offline mode for a cheaper fee, as is? Genuinely asking.
              • I never subscribed to iTunes match. Apple simply stopped DRM'ing the iTunes Store music files in 2009, while also increasing the bitrate from 128kbps to 256kbps.

                Now, are the files from Apple Music (steaming, monthly fee) DRM'ed or not? Maybe, but I have no idea since I only buy tunes/albums from iTunes.

                • Ok, so the cost model there is where Apple falls down. 15 a month for a Spotify account with 5 different people able to access it from anywhere, no DRM, content seems pretty wide. You don't need an Apple product to use Spotify, bit-rate can be as high as 320kbps, the files are clearly accessible and loadable offline, never have to buy singles. It just seems odd that anyone use Apple Music in light of this -- even if they were or were not DRM'd. And, to the earlier people, there is still lockin. Leave an App
    • $10 is less than the cost of a single album, for access to all the albums (for the most part). You might have a valid comparison with Netflix if they had a larger selection. The selection on Netflix is good for $10, but it's nowhere near as complete as what Spotify and other music streaming platforms have. I think that's the big difference. If Netflix had as much selection as Spotify, they would be demanding much higher subscription prices. Spotify has 30 million tracks while Netflix has around 6500 movies

    • by Anonymous Coward

      herein lies my proble. Why would I support a multi-billion dollar company that has repeatedly trolled copyright records, sending illegal and false notices (as proven in US Court) for streaming rights, and well as sending these noi to incoorect parties, then preventing contact with an answering machine and no reply/action to correct. In other words they have and continue to STEAL, abuse and money launder with big holding agencies the artists and creators big and small. Thieves with big money, brushing off oc

    • $10 per month for Spotify is an incredible deal if you listen to music regularly. That's less than the cost of most CD's.

      YMMV, but my Netflix subscription is hardly used these days. They lost all of the television series I watch to Hulu and I've already seen most of the shows I care about. In comparison Spotify has order of magnitude more content I want to consume.

    • And here lies the problem. If I can subscribe to Netflix and watch TV shows and movies for less than $10 per month, then I want to pay less than Netflix to listen to music.

      At $5 per month I'd start to think about it. At $3 per month I wouldn't even think about it and just subscribe.

      $3.00 is what I pay for commercial free Pandora.

  • This is hardly "news", isn't for "nerds", and doesn't "matter". Slow news day, eh?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Every single fucking article, there's some idiot that says "This is not news for nerds or stuff that matters." Great. Ignore it then. Do you go to Youtube and say, "This video was a waste of time every time I watched it"?

      • If it hit one of the three I would understand; but this reads as a press release (not news, does not matter) for a company that is not of particular interest to nerds.
  • by robkeeney ( 1061032 ) on Wednesday April 11, 2018 @11:56AM (#56418163)

    It would help a lot if they'd fix the bugs in the player. I'm not going to pay anything for a buggy app. Also, they need to do a much better job differentiating artists with the same name.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I was thinking about subscribing, then they ruined the web player and removed most of its functionality.

  • Unless they have a complete library of music and TV, its still a bad deal.
    And they wonder why people keep pirating things.
    • I have had Amazon Prime for years; just the other day I tried installing the streaming Amazon Music app which apparently Iâ(TM)m already paying for. The selection was pathetic, less than 20-30 songs per genre. There was no useful ability to find music âoesimilar toâ what I liked. I uninstalled the app within 12 hours of installing it. Useless even if it were free.
    • They are about as close as you can get to having all the content. The only music that I've found they don't have is by a select few artists who specifically don't want to be on streaming platforms, and some movie soundtracks where they probably didn't license the music properly. They have a very good selection. It's a lot more comprehensive then what Netflix is offering.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I have invested in quite a large CD collection (which I keep adding to), which I've ripped to MP3.

    It's mine. I don't need to pay data plan rates to stream it, I don't need to be dependent on someone to keep giving me music, I don't get ads, nobody gets to have analytics against what I like ... my relationship to the music publishers is "one and done", and then they can go fuck themselves.

    The artists get paid when I buy the album, and then the relationship is between me and my music collection. And that's

The moon may be smaller than Earth, but it's further away.

Working...