Spotify has made a big change in their business model today in an attempt to be more friendly to mobile devices. Previously, iOS devices only had access to a free online radio service, or had to pay $9.99/month for full access on the go. Spotify has changed their methods, so now they have divided devices into different classification tiers. The iPad will now be classified as a PC allowing the Spotify iPad app to operate like the the free desktop client complete with searching for specific tracks, building of playlists, and listening to on demand content for free.
The iPhone, and other smartphones have a new classification that revolves around a new shuffling feature. Shuffling operates like the free online radio station feature that already existis, and is similar to Pandora, iTunes Radio, and Songza. There are new pre-complied playlists to listen to based on certain genres, like Songza, and there’s the existing radio stations, both for free. If you search for particular songs in the iPhone version, you’re greeted with a Shuffle Play button allowing you to listen to the whole album, but at Spotify’s discretion. The $9.99 option still exists, and it provides access to offline playlists as well as access to specific songs. Spotify also announced that they now offer the the full catalog of Led Zeppelin albums.
Spotify (Free, Universal) offers free listening for all, which is especially powerful on the iPad. The iPhone version is nothing more than another radio streaming alternative, and there’s no shortage of ways to listen to free music on iOS.