Spotify reportedly adding free, ad-supported listening to mobile apps

Spotify is planning free, ad-supported listening for its iOS and Android apps, The Wall Street Journal reports.

In the past, Spotify has limited mobile listening to "Premium" paying members. Free, ad-supported listening was available on;y on desktop and laptop computers.

With the policy change, non-paying listeners will soon get a limited number of songs with ads in between, the report says. Spotify has inked a deal regarding rates to play songs with Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group.

Thursday's news from Spotify comes at a time when iTunes Radio and Rdio have been making a foray into the music streaming scene, so extending free listening to mobile could be seen as a way for Spotify to grow its user base. How Spotify treats free listeners will be similar to Pandora's tactics of offering limited skips and streaming.

Spotify said in July that more than 20 per cent of the people who use the service regularly end up buying subscriptions.

The company has invited members of the press to an event in New York and London next week, but has didn't specify what the event will involve. It's not clear but perhaps the company will announce the free streaming option within its mobile apps at the event.

Spotify declined to comment on the rumour.



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