According to the Wall Street Journal, Spotify is about to introduce a free mobile version.
The new ad-supported offering will allow nonpaying mobile users to play a limited number of songs on demand, but will mostly serve up music based on the user’s input, much like custom radio services such as Pandora.
This move makes a lot of sense.
The usual path of a Spotify user was to get the free desktop version and then they would eventually upgrade to premium. Either because of the ads or because of the mobile version which is currently limited to premium users.
But given that traditional computers are on the wane, Spotify is slowly losing their only channel for users to upgrade.
Of course the free mobile version will cannibalize some of the premium users. But how many users are there that would pay €10 for the full mobile version, that would swap that for a free radio service (with only limited on-demand songs)? Probably not many.
Hat tip for getting that deal with the record labels though. Must have been a nightmare to negotiate.