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Spotify expands free streaming music service to tablets

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Spotify logo (STOCK)
Spotify logo (STOCK)

As rumored earlier this month, Spotify is expanding its core free mobile streaming service, creating a tablet version of its app that offers the same features as the desktop version — on-demand streaming of tracks, playlists, and albums with ads every few songs. So far, mobile users in the free, ad-supported tier could access a streaming radio service with the option of skipping a handful of tracks, a service that was launched in mid-2012. Only $9.99 premium users could search and play songs on demand. But putting up a chart of declining PC sales, Spotify's Daniel Ek said that it no longer made sense to distinguish between traditional computers and tablets.

This was only one part of the news for Spotify's mobile business today. Ek also announced the arrival of a free streaming service for iPhone and Android phones, allowing users to listen to any of their playlists or favorite artists' catalogs on shuffle with interstitial ads, though offline playback and real on-demand listening will remain limited to paying users on phones. The new tablet service, like this shuffle-only service and Led Zeppelin's catalog, will go live today.