Spotify Is Testing A New Less Restrictive Tier With Ads Called Spotify Plus, Priced At $0.99 Monthly

21 June 2019, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Stuttgart: The Spotify app is displayed on the screen of an iPhone. Photo by: Fabian Sommer/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

Music streaming service Spotify is testing a less restrictive ad-supported tier called Spotify Plus. Spotify Plus is a new tier being tested by Spotify which combines features of its existing free and premium tiers, costing $0.99 per monthly subscription.

The new plan still features ads like Spotify’s free tier but doesn’t impose any limits on the number of tracks users can skip per hour. Users also have the liberty of picking specific songs they want to listen to, rather than mostly being limited to shuffling within albums and playlists.

In 2014, Spotify introduced its free tier to mobile, letting users listen to their playlists on shuffle with ads. A new version- the current Spotify’s free tier as we have it, came later in 2018. Users can listen on-demand to whatever song they want, as many times as they want, as long as those songs appear on one of the 15 personalized discovery playlists like Daily Mix, Discover Weekly, Release Radar, or Today’s Top Hits. Outside of these playlists, free users can only listen to shuffled tracks.

The new Spotify Plus tier is a relatively cheap way to reduce some of those restrictions, and at least one user has seen Spotify Plus being advertised at $0.99 a month, which is a tenth of the cost of Spotify’s standard $9.99 premium tier. However, it is understood that Spotify’s test involves offering the new plan randomly at a variety of price points to measure user interest.

“We’re always working to enhance the Spotify experience and we routinely conduct tests to inform our decisions. We’re currently conducting a test of an ad-supported subscription plan with a limited number of our users,” a Spotify spokesperson said, confirming the news of the new test tier, Spotify Plus.

Spotify has a history of testing new tiers years before they launch. Back in 2017, Spotify announced that it was testing a lossless audio streaming tier, and although the company officially announced the lossless “HiFi” tier earlier this year, it is still yet to officially launch. Other tests include Snapchat-like stories for select playlists and visual quote cards for podcasts, both of which no longer appear to be visible in the app.

The streaming service did not act out of line when it cautioned that there was no guarantee that the new tier will launch in its current form. “Some tests end up paving the way for new offerings or enhancements while others may only provide learnings. We don’t have any additional information to share at this time,” it said.

Spotify recently reported an impressive amount of $2.81 billion in revenue for second quarter, with the number of its premium subscribers reaching 174 million.

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