Spotify changed the free version of the app for Android and iPhone (iOS) in order to make it more attractive. In the recent update of the service application, non-paying users will have more flexibility to listen to music, with functions previously restricted to subscribers. The measure aims to increase the base of general subscriptions on the platform and thus encourage more people to join the paid service.
But, with the promised improvement, is it really worth investing in Spotify Premium? Below are eight points to consider before deciding.
Five Spotify functions you need to know
Four Spotify functions you need to know
Free Spotify is a version that displays audio ads in the middle of playing music. This feature does not change with the arrival of the new mobile app, so it remains a negative point for those who choose not to subscribe to the full service. The free variant brings advertising every 30 minutes of music played on your smartphone or PC. The only way to remove advertisements through the Premium subscription.
Spotify subscribers can skip, replay and rewind tracks unlimitedly, both in playlists and albums and in artist profiles. Although it remains restricted, Spotify Free is better than before with the latest update. In some playlists made by Spotify, it is possible to skip and repeat or manually select specific tracks without limits. The open lists do not have the marked shuffle symbol.
In the rest of the songs (with the shuffle tag), free users follow with the possibility of listening only in random order. In addition, they can advance only six times every hour of reproduction. According to Spotify, the app warns about the amount of progress available.
The new Spotify app brings a smart feature capable of automatically adding music to playlists created by the user. As new tracks are added, the program adds items from similar artists to compose the selection. It is possible to see which songs were added manually and which were added by the automated system. The feature is present in both Spotify Premium and Free.
In the free version, however, only the playlists generated automatically by the service and without the random tag can be reproduced freely.
Spotify Radio is a useful resource for those who prefer not to browse among the platform's playlists to start listening to a setlist of tracks of a certain musical style. However, this is one of the functions that left the free version. From the update of the mobile application, only subscribers will be able to select an artist and create a personalized station with music from him and similar singers and bands.
Radio function becomes exclusive to Spotify Premium Photo: Reproduo / Paulo Alves
Only those who pay for Spotify Premium can download playlists, albums or individual tracks to listen without Internet. The function has always been present only for subscribers, and does not reach Free users when updating the application. This means that whoever chooses not to pay monthly fees, can listen to music only with an active connection, be it Wi-Fi or 4G. In the latter case, however, there is a new benefit: paid or free users can activate a data saving feature to consume less megabytes of the cellular plan while using the service.
Only Premium users can download music Photo: Reproduo / Paulo Alves
Another feature that follows Spotify Premium exclusivity is high quality streaming. With it, subscribers can play tracks with the "Extreme" quality, available in the app's settings. With this setting enabled, the service starts transmitting audio at 320 kb / s, well above the 96 kb / s defined by standard in Spotify Free's "Normal" quality. With a larger package sent over the Internet, the music offers a better overall sound experience, especially in bass reproduction.
Only with Premium you can hear in the High and Extreme qualities Photo: Reproduo / Paulo Alves
The user's personal music library no longer integrates Spotify into the free mobile version. From the most recent alternative, tracks imported from the phone's memory are only available in the favorites menu, and can no longer be played in offline mode. This means that Spotify ceases to function as a common MP3 player, in the absence of an internet connection. The feature becomes exclusive to the Premium package.
The advantages of Spotify Premium require a monthly investment of R $ 16.90, entitled to 30 free days. There are two other plans: a family one, with a price of R $ 26.90 for six people, and the student version, for R $ 8.50 per month. Any modality brings the same benefits in terms of functionality.
The free Spotify was certainly more attractive with the new functions, but it remains a viable alternative only for those who have Internet available all the time. With the free account, you need to have Wi-Fi or 4G active to listen, since the application is no longer an option to listen to your personal MP3 collection. If you have a generous data plan or Wi-Fi nearby, the open playlists in the free version offer one less reason to switch to Premium.