There have been reports of upcoming changes to Spotify's free service level in the last two weeks, and it appears that the music service is now publishing the updated user interface to select users. While The Verge can not confirm if this is officially the new version of the free version for mobile devices that is expected to launch next week, these UI changes, including the option to play songs on demand in Selected playlists, would make the free tier acts more like a Premium account. Spotify declined to comment.
Last week, Bloomberg reported that these updates would specifically affect mobile users, and a flyer for the company's upcoming April 24 event recently confirmed that the modifications were coming to Spotify mobile.
While there are several notable changes in this version of Spotify free for mobile devices, perhaps the largest is the new option to play certain playlists on demand, as you can see in the playlist "Gold Edition" previous. If a playlist can only be played in random mode, it is now designated with a random blue icon. Previously in the free level, all the playlists could only be played in random mode.
The way individual songs are displayed during playback is also new. Spotify previously used full-screen art with certain prominent playlists such as RapCaviar. Now, that apparently has been presented as a standard. In fact, almost everything in this version of Spotify for free is redesigned, from the search page, which now has colorful boxed inscriptions like "Workout" and "Humor" for previews below the playlist icons that give a glimpse to the songs contained inside (as seen in "New Music Friday," above and to the right).
When it comes to the lower navigation strip, the Browse button has disappeared and that content has been folded in Search. The radio button has also disappeared, and the function can not be found in any menu. Now there is also a Premium button on the right, which allows users to upgrade for free.
Voice control, a feature that Spotify was testing earlier this month, is apparently not included in the update, for now.
Spotify was made public on April 3, and its services are available in 61 countries with a global user base of 159 million that includes free listeners supported by ads and 70 million users who pay as of January 2018 The company expects up to 96 million paid subscribers and a 30 percent increase in revenues to $ 6.6 billion by the end of the year. It is predicted that the company will likely continue to focus on growing user subscriptions, and making the free experience better to use is crucial to attract new people to the service.