Spotify’s Freemium Radio Service Comes To Android Devices

Posted July 31

Good news for all your Android-toters out there: Spotify is bringing its freemium service to your handset today, courtesy of its recently spiffed-up radio service.

In June, Spotify brought its radio service to mobile for iOS users for free, and now that courtesy have been extended to Android users as well. Free users will be able to create stations, save songs that they like and fine-tune stations by giving feedback on tunes.

Overall, the offering has a lot of perks that services like Pandora lack. Firstly, Spotify has a huge number of songs — the Pandora catalogue has about a million songs (last time we checked), while Spotify boasts 17 million. Evolver.fm’s Eliot Van Buskirk also points out that you can tag any song you like for later listening, a feature other streaming radio apps don’t offer. Those songs can’t be played on-demand on your phone (without forking over some cash for a premium subscription), but you can listen to them later on-demand on your desktop. There’s also no limit to free listening — users can jam as long as they like (while listening to the occasional ad, of course).

A major flaw, however, is that it seems like users are unable to cache stations for offline listening, making it impossible to take your tunes on the subway with you, or to other locales where there’s no signal. Still, that’s pretty standard fare for free streaming radio apps. Pandora doesn’t even offer the ability to cache for offline listening, and Slacker Radio requires you to pay to do so. This absence of functionality will likely drive more users to upgrade to premium service (which includes caching and on-demand), adding to Spotify’s four million-strong base of paying users.

Spotify has had a desktop radio service for a while now (first introduced in December), and began rolling out a revamped, “Pandora-like” version of that service back in May, allowing users to create radio stations from specific playlists and albums. The service offers unlimited skips and also allows users to create stations from artists and songs, and the whole shebang is powered by super ubiquitous music intelligence platform, The Echo Nest — which means the stations become smarter and more personalized with every “like.”

Are you an Android user? Will you download this new offering?