Spotify presented in Australia an application called Stations, completely free. The latter, which approaches the radio, could be a new model for free streaming.
In Australia, the music streaming giant Spotify is trying a new formula that may offend a number of players in the music industry: Stations. This application, free and funded by advertising, is an experiment for the firm that has its importance: instead of highlighting artists and albums, Spotify only offers playlists. The company writes about its app: "The easiest way to listen to the music you love, totally free."
Unusable in France for reasons of limitations on Google Play, Stations is strictly for the Australian market. However, it illuminates part of Spotify's strategy against the most restive users of the paid subscription. While a majority of users of the service still do not pay for the music they consume – only 70 of the 140 million users subscribe – the company develops models adapted to this consumption.
With Stations, the service approaches the musical radio model: everything is free, supported by advertising, but without the freedom offered by conventional streaming.
Indeed, Stations is thought to be fast and simple, to the point that Spotify literally vanishes artists and albums under labels of his invention: automatic playlists.
Thus, it is impossible for Stations to listen to the full sessions of Bitches Brew Miles Davis; at best, the user will find an option named jazz. Want to listen to an album? Spotify prefers that you listen to "Easy Listening", an automatically generated playlist to satisfy everyone and anyone at the same time.
The different playlists are presented elegantly in a central menu and we find the classics of Spotify: Discover Weekly, some genres like jazz, pop, and a lot of moods: workout, easy listening etc. Particularity of the application: here, it is impossible to pass a track like the radio. The system reminds Americans of the Pandora service which offered a relatively similar offer.
This experiment of Spotify will not fail to make react the music industry already critical towards the giant. The movement of the company could satisfy the majors if it allowed to finish with the free streaming as it exists today on Spotify to be replaced by this solution.
Nevertheless, indie artists and labels who are already in battle order to criticize the system of remuneration and highlighting of music on Spotify may see in these stations a new proof of the will of the company to bypass the creators by slowly replacing them with vague ideas like chillout lounge and dinner aperitif.