Swedish music streaming service provider Spotify plans to introduce an ad-supported service that will allow mobile users to listen to certain tracks for free. The free feature was leaked to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) by someone knowledgeable about the matter. The company has sent out invites for an event in New York on December 11 when the said feature will allegedly be announced.
According to the source, who requested anonymity, the ad-supported feature will allow mobile users to listen to a limited number of songs that will be based on how users set their preferences.
"The Sweden-based music company has reached licensing deals with all three of the global music companies to use their recordings on the new service, these people added," WSJ reported.
The deals sealed with Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music, and Universal Music Gorup by Spotify will help the company widen its network of mobile users to other territories. It has over 20 million users across the globe, 6 million of which are paying customers.
Spotify has a free version but only it is currently only available to personal computer users. Non-subscribers can enjoy music on-demand on their computers without having to worry about any charges but they cannot do this on their tablets and smartphones. Spotify have been requiring customers to input credit card information for a 30-day trial of its premium service so users can use the ad-supported service on their mobile gadgets.
The tracks can also be downloaded by the users so they can listen to them offline without being bothered by advertisements.
Josh Constine of TechCrunch was able to get more information about the restrictions.
"... users may have more freedom to listen to their previously compiled playlists or starred collection of songs. The reasoning may be that Spotify sees these subsequent plays of songs users have already shown interest in as less valuable than on-demand access to what they've never listened to before. Reserving infinite search-and-listen capabilities for premium customers ensures people don't get the milk if they don't buy the cow," Constine wrote.
The on-demand ads-free music premium service of Spotify delivers unlimited number of tracks. It costs $10 per month.
Spotify did not comment about the new feature. The service was started in 2008 by founder Daniel Ek. The Pandora-like music service is going toe-to-toe with other services such as Slacker, Deezer, and Rdio. It is also expected to battle it out with iTunes Radio of Apple and the music service launched by Google.