◎一個新的移動裝置應用程式將在全球推出，可以免費使用15個播放清單，包括Discover Weekly、Release Radar和Daily Mix，以及Spotify針對每個用戶策劃的個性化播放清單。新功能提供「輔助播放清單」，可根據每位用戶的喜好將歌曲添加到個人播放清單中。而根據Spotify產品開發副總裁Babar Zafar的說法，「Data Saver」的設定可以透過預測性歌曲緩存和其他新技術節省高達75%的數據使用量。
◎但對音樂人和唱片公司來說， Spotify擴大免費服務將使每次串流所支付給他們的費用比付費訂閱的來得少。更大的用戶群並不一定就代表有更多錢付給藝人，而Spotify的全球創作者服務負責人Troy Carter的任務是說服仍然持懷疑態度的創作者社群相信這件事。Troy Carter言論的核心是更多的用戶意味著更多的音樂被發掘，但許多樂迷無法支付每月9.99美元或通常較低的當地等值金額去使用付費訂閱服務；據Troy Carter稱，71%的Spotify免費和付費用戶年齡在34歲以下，這意味著平均年齡20-34歲的用戶無法每個月為音樂支付10美元。然而，與此形成對比的是，儘管門票價格很高，但演唱會的出席人數仍然強勁增長。
Spotify is expanding its free ad-supported tier with unlimited access and song play to tracks on 15 personalized playlists. More free music, which is a direct threat to broadcast radio, will significantly grow the music industry overall, according to the streamer.
Throughout today's press announcement, Spotify worked to convince artists, labels and fans that a major expansion of its free tier would drive more music discovery, grow the music industry and eventually expand payments to creators.
For fans of free music the benefits of today's announcements are obvious.
A new mobile app, rolling out globally in the coming weeks, offers free access to 15 playlists including Discover Weekly, Release Radar and Daily Mix, along with Spotify curated playlists individualized to each user.
A new feature offers "assisted playlists" that will suggest songs to add to personal playlists based on each user's taste. A "Data Saver" setting could "save up to 75% of data usage" via predictive song caching and other new technologies, according to Spotify VP of Product Development Babar Zafar.
But for musicians and labels, an expanded Spotify free service which will return smaller per stream payments than on its Premium tier, is a much harder sell.
Spotify's expanded free service will have a "significant impact on the music industry in general," according to the sreamers chief R&D officer Gustav Söderström, who also echoed CEO Daniel Ek's recent pledge to enable "a million creative artists the opportunity to live off their art."
In fact, Spotify sees itself as the "R&D department for the entire music industry" as it grow a much larger music business "as big or bigger than social networks," according to Söderström, which measures its users in the billions.
A bigger user base is not necessarily synonymous with more money for artists, and Spotify Global Head of Creator Services Troy Carter was tasked with convincing a still skeptical creator community.
The core of Carter's pitch was that more users means more music discovery, but that many music fans can't pay $9.99 per month or the often lower local equivalent to use a premium service.
71% of Spotify free and paid users are under 34 years old, according to Carter, implying that the average 20-34 year old can't pay $10 a month for music. By contrast, however, concert attendance is experiencing strong growth despite high ticket prices.
During a press Q & A that followed the presentation Carter added that "new thinking: was required that acknowledged that while a download or CD sale paid artists once, streaming pays out every time the song is played forever. But multiple analyses of recent payments to artists and labels show per stream payouts falling as the streamer grows, at least partially negating the gains of long tail payouts.