There have been reports of upcoming changes to Spotify's free service level in the last two weeks, and it seems that the music service is now publishing the updated user interface to select users. Although The Verge can not confirm whether the new version of the free mobile version is expected to be released next week, these UI changes, which include the option to play songs on demand in selected playlists, would make the level Free is more like a Premium account. Spotify refused to comment.
Last week, Bloomberg reported that these updates would specifically impact mobile device users, and a flyer for the company's upcoming April 24 event recently confirmed that the modifications were coming to Spotify for mobile devices.
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 "Gold Edition" playlist above. 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.
Another novelty is the way individual songs are shown during playback. 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 that asks free users for the update.
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 general user base of 159 million that includes free listeners supported by ads and 70 million users as of January 2018. The company foresees a payment of up to 96 million 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 the growth of user subscriptions, and making the free experience better to use is crucial in attracting new people to the service.