Spotify launches free and unlimited on Android


Spotify, the music discovery service aiming to take more and more share from Pandora in the U.S., announced a free unlimited radio for Android devices here.

The streaming radio service lets users create custom stations based on an artist, album or playlist. Like Pandora, Spotify radio can learn a user’s taste over time, based on a thumps up or down vote. The service is already available for the desktop client and iOS devices, like the iPhone and iPad.

Spotify radio is a free update to the Android app. Premium users can listen commercial-free. The Spotify app can be downloaded at Google Play.

Like Spotify radio for the iPhone and iPad, the Android version comes in two flavors—an ad-free stream for premium subscribers who pay $9.99 a month for Spotify service and one that has occasional ad breaks for non-paying users.

Non-subscribers outside the U.S. won’t be able to access the new service, but premium users based in other countries will be able to, Spotify said.

Premium service subscribers can skip an unlimited number of tracks while non-paying users have limits on the number of songs they can skip.

The Android service provides access to Spotify’s catalog of 16 million songs.

RBR-TVBR observation: It’s all about the real estate. If Spotify can be available on as many devices and dashboards as Pandora, the audience and ad dollars will follow. For the rest of it, it sounds like Spotify and Pandora have very similar offerings. There could be a difference in how well each one picks the songs they think users will like. Having two competitors at listeners’ fingertips is like having two presets on the radio dial now—which “station” is better?