Spotify is doubling down on free music and has begun testing a standalone app that offers a station-based streaming music experience similar to Pandora's original music service, reports Variety.
"Stations," available on Android devices in Australia, is designed to let users stream free music from curated radio-like stations. The app's description says that Stations "is an experiment by Spotify that makes it easy for anyone to listen to great music."
Stations is the easiest way to listen to the music you love. Totally free.
When you have access to all the music in the world, finding the right thing to play can feel like a challenge. With Stations, you can listen immediately, and switching stations is simple and seamless--no searching or typing needed. As you listen, it learns what you like and creates personalised stations that you'll love.
Based on the app's description, Stations is designed to make it quick and easy to find new music, with the app offering up personalized stations after it "learns what you like." Spotify says there's no searching or typing required to use the app.
It's not clear what Spotify plans to do with Stations in the future, and it's not known if the company plans to eventually release an iOS app, but Stations does fill a much-needed function - it provides more free listening options for customers on mobile devices.
Spotify's main app also has a free ad-supported listening tier, but the on-demand service is limited to customers who use Spotify on the desktop. On mobile devices, listening options are far more limited.
Spotify's main app boasts 140 million total active subscribers and 70 million paying subscribers, so the unpaid market is still huge for Spotify and one consumer group that Apple does not reach. Apple Music has no free listening tier, and Apple has no plans to implement one.
For now, Spotify's new Stations app is limited to a select number of Android devices in Australia and it is supported via ads.