Spotify’s conversion rate isn’t bad: Out of 15 million active users, more than 4 million are paying subscribers. That number may soon increase thanks to Android support for Spotify radio, which is ad-supported and offers unlimited playback of Spotify’s entire digital music catalog.


Android phones in the U.S. gained a free version of Spotify on Tuesday: The music service announced Spotify radio at no charge with the latest version of its Android software. The free mobile edition of Spotify’s radio stream works the same as on a desktop; there’s no charge to listen to music but you’ll hear occasional advertisements unless you upgrade to Spotify Premium.

The approach is similar to that of Pandora, which has long offered ad-supported online music tracks and subscription plans. And like Pandora, the updated Spotify for Android allows the creation of stations based on artist, album or playlist. You can skip a song if it’s one you’d rather not hear and Spotify will learn not to play it again. Give a “thumbs up” to a favorite song and Spotify will save it to a “Liked from Radio” playlist on the desktop.

Surely, Spotify hopes that a taste of the free version will entice subscriptions. But the company’s conversion rate isn’t too shabby; even before this move. Ken Parks, Spotify’s Chief Content Officer and Managing Director of Spotify N. America recently noted that Spotify has 15 million active users and over 4 million paid subscribers.

Aside from the ads, there’s no real limit to the free Spotify radio service, so it should appeal. Users have access to the millions of tracks in Spotify’s catalog on their Android smartphone or tablet. The updated app is available in the Google Play store and supports devices running Android 2.1 and up, which is nearly all active devices on Google’s platform.

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  1. Dominick C DeVito Tuesday, July 31, 2012

    i downloaded and installed it but says it’s free for only 48 hours -what gives

    1. Spotify Premium is free for 48 hours; the radio service is free / ad-supported.

  2. Franklin Graves Tuesday, July 31, 2012

    I must say that their “radio” feature has a lot of learning to do in order to catch up with Pandora. It’s nice to see Spotify adding more features. They’ve definitely come a long way with their mobile platform over the past year-ish.

    Paying for a subscription was the best thing I did (now over a year ago)! I haven’t regretting feeling great about having unlimited, *legal* access to all my favorite music, no matter if it is from 10 years ago, or 10 min ago.

    It is also nice knowing that the right people get paid for what I consume. Big companies or individual writers or artists. I’m happy to know I’m able to support the music industry, without feeling taken advantage of at $15 a CD, or $1.29 a song I’ll listen to only a few times. (Some even get paid twice over because I buy their vinyl, haha!)

  3. There’s a web based player ready for release very soon.

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