Rumored revamp of Spotify’s free mobile service could be a big step up

Spotify is in the middle of a busy time. The Sweden-based music streaming company went public earlier this month, and now it’s gearing up for a big event in New York City on April 24 in which it could unveil the company’s first-ever piece of hardware.

The gathering could also see it reveal a revamped version of its free mobile service that gives users better access to tracks, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg this week.

The updated software would in some ways mimic the paid version, the report said, offering more control over what you can play. At the current time, the free ad-supported version of Spotify’s mobile service prevents you from selecting tracks, leaving you with no choice but to listen to what it serves up via shuffle when you pick an album or playlist. In addition, you can only skip tracks up to six times during each hour of use.

The inability to choose specific tracks is the main drawback when it comes to Spotify’s free mobile service, but the company knows that it’s this very limitation that prompts some users to switch to its paid model costing $10 a month.

As Bloomberg points out, the company needs to attract new listeners to reassure investors that the business is continuing to grow, and making the free mobile version more attractive could be one way to go about this.

The tricky part will be converting those users to the paid model, which is where the real money is made.

Spotify’s paying subscribers brought in around 90 percent of the company’s revenue in 2017, despite making up less than half of its customer base, which at the last count totaled 157 million people. Spotify is aiming to exceed 200 million users by the end of 2018, and also hopes to have 96 million of them paying the monthly subscription fee, up from the current 71 million.

A major increase in its subscriber base is absolutely essential for Spotify, a company that, despite growing revenue, has been losing huge amounts of money in recent years.

Notably, Spotify’s main rival, Apple Music, doesn’t have a free tier, so improving its current offering for newcomers could prove to be a smart move for Spotify as it endeavors to stay ahead of the competition.

There’s no official word from the company about the reported change to the free version of its mobile service, but we should have a clearer idea of what’s happening by the end of this month.

Mobile

Black hole in the screen of Samsung's new Galaxy A8s has a camera inside

Samsung is building exciting, technologically innovative midrange phones, and the latest to be revealed is the new Samsung Galaxy A8s, which may give us an idea of what the new Samsung Galaxy S10 will look like.
Movies & TV

Do you have questions about Hulu? We’ve got answers

Not sure which Hulu subscription is right for you? We're here to help. This is your complete guide to Hulu and Hulu with Live TV, including content offerings for each service, pricing, internet requirements, and more.
Music

Here's our head-to-head comparison of Pandora and Spotify

Which music streaming platform is best for you? We pit Spotify versus Pandora, two mighty streaming services with on-demand music and massive catalogs, comparing every facet of the two services to help you decide which is best.
Music

Spotify is the best streaming service, but its competitors aren’t far behind

It can be hard to decide which music streaming service is for you, so we've picked out the individual strengths of the most popular services, aiming to make your decision a little easier.
Music

Jam out in style with the 25 best playlists on Spotify

Music is the world's most potent drug, and the best playlists on Spotify will make you catch feelings. We've scoured the service for its top collections, and brought them together in one place -- for you.
Mobile

Score a Christmas deal with Speck’s half-off sale on its entire range of cases

The holidays might be nearing, but bargains don't take time off. To celebrate the last day for U.S. ground shipping, Speck will be offering a sitewide 50-percent-off deal for one day only on Monday December 17.
Mobile

Doubts emerge over when LG will reveal its folding smartphone

LG may be working on a folding smartphone, making it the latest device manufacturer to be linked to the technology, which may become one of the standout designs of the coming year.
Mobile

Walk, run, and stretch with these handy iPhone fitness apps

Working out and getting yourself in shape isn't easy, but it's easier with the right set of apps. These best iPhone fitness apps will help you to track your calories, monitor your sleep, and achieve your fitness goals.
Mobile

These parental control apps will help keep your kids' device habits in check

Looking for extra security and monitoring on mobile devices? Take a look at the best parental control apps for limiting time and keeping watch on your child's phone usage and behavior. We have the top options for Android and iOS here.
Deals

Save up to $800 with the best smartphone deals for December 2018

Need a better phone but don't want to spend a fortune? It's never a bad time to score a new smartphone and save some cash. We rounded up the best smartphone deals available that can save you as much as $800.
Deals

Amazon Fire Deals: Tablets, TVs, and TV controllers in stock and ready to ship

Last-minute shoppers, and anyone seeking good deals on Amazon Fire products, are in luck. There's still time to order Fire Tablets, Fire TVs, and Fire media players, Fire CVRs, and Alexa-voice-compatible Fire remotes for Christmas delivery.
Mobile

The best protective iPhone cases to defend against dirt, dings, and drops

If you’re going off-road or work outdoors, it could be a good idea to invest in a tough case. These are our picks of the best protective iPhone cases for all iterations of the iPhone, from the iPhone XS to the 7.
Mobile

Car-branded phones need to make a U-turn if they ever want to impress

Your car and your smartphone are becoming one, yet smartphones branded or co-created by car companies are a problem. We look at the history, some examples of the best and worst, then share hopes for the future.
Mobile

Give Rachael Ray a run for her money with these 13 recipe apps

You don’t have to be Gordon Ramsay to make a killer meal, you just need an easy to follow recipe app. We’ve compiled our 13 favorite cooking apps for Android smartphones and iPhones, including countless recipes to suit any taste.