Spotify has very quietly released a new standalone app for Android that’s exclusively dedicated to quick, easy playlist and station listening. The app is called Stations, and Spotify describes it as “the easiest way to listen to the music you love. Totally free.” Stations is also an “experiment,” according to the company.
Stations is listed in the Google Play Store, but as of late Tuesday evening (when Variety noted its debut), the app wasn’t yet compatible with mobile devices in the United States and many other countries. For now, it’s only available in Australia.
We haven’t used it yet, but the app’s design makes clear that Stations is designed to reduce the steps and taps necessary to get to your music. Spotify says that Stations starts playing as soon as it’s opened, and all playlists are displayed in a large font. You switch between them by scrolling; Spotify specifically calls out that no typing or searching is necessary to use Stations. Yes, free users will get ads, and it seems that no one — even Premium subscribers — can skip tracks when using Stations.
The app also includes the service’s popular, individually personalized playlists such as Discover Weekly and Release Radar. “As you listen, it learns what you like and creates personalized stations that you’ll love,” the Stations app description reads. Users can customize which playlists appear in the main menu and hide those they’re not interested in, but they can’t create new ones within Stations.
The Verge has reached out to Spotify for more details around Stations, including the obvious question of whether an iOS version is coming. Experiment or not, Stations is the latest tool in Spotify’s arsenal as the company continues its rivalry with competing music services. An app that’s all about easy, quick listening seems particularly built to woo Pandora’s millions of free users who want a convenient, lean-back experience with little user input required.