Listicle: Here are 5 of the best features to make the most of your listening experience on the world’s most popular streaming service
Music has the potential to help create new bonds, make otherwise dull days more enjoyable and even make a heartbreak a little less painful. Thanks to music streaming, all the songs you need are available at the touch of a button, and you don’t have to make requests on the radio for them to play your favourite tunes. But, with streaming comes monthly subscription fees which is not always a feasible option for everyone. This is why Spotify created a Free tier, which uses the platform’s intuitive algorithm, giving you an unparalleled listening experience even without paying a fee.
To make sure you get the best out of your Spotify Free experience, here are the five must-use features:
Let Spotify get to know you with Taste Onboarding
This is the first step when setting up any Spotify account.
After you download and sign in to the Spotify Free app, you’ll be prompted to choose five or more artists you like. This allows Spotify to learn about your favorite artists, songs, and genres so it can recommend songs based on your music preferences. From there, Spotify will make some great playlists for you as well as tailor your home screen for easier music discovery. Your Artist Mixes, Your Decade Mixes and Your Genre Mixes are all made especially for you and are based on the music you like. The more you listen, the more Spotify will learn about your music tastes, with the recommendations getting better and smarter over time, and introducing you to artists you’re bound to love. Win-win!
Enjoy On-demand playlists
Next up, data from your streaming activity along with insights from your initial Taste Onboarding are used to offer access to 15 personalised and curated playlists particular to your music taste. What this means is that every user gets something different to suit their music style. On-Demand Playlists offer a broad mix of genres from “Made in Uganda”which has the hottest Ugandan hits, to “Mutima” an R&B and Afrosoul playlist.
Spotify’s Free users can also listen to up to six personalised playlists on-demand, which will be updated constantly based on the music you listen to. You can find these playlists under ‘Made For You’ on your home screen. Once Spotify has enough information about what you like to listen to, it will update your Discover Weekly every Monday and Release Radar every Friday. The Discover Weekly playlist has songs you haven’t listened to before but the platform believes you will enjoy, based on what you have streamed. Release Radar on the other hand includes the latest music from artists you follow. New playlists, both on-demand and specially curated for you will keep popping up the more you stream.
Find new music with Assisted playlisting and Blend
Making your own playlist? Just start with a title, and then choose a few tracks. Spotify will then start recommending songs for you to add to the playlist with the tap of a button. You’ll be shown songs based on artists in the playlist, your taste profile, and even the title of your playlist—particularly songs with that theme or word in the lyrics—so make sure you choose wisely!
Blend is a feature that allows you to blend your musical taste with up to nine other users, creating a shared playlist using Spotify’s personalisation and collaborative tools. You get to discover what interesting songs and artists your friends are listening to, as it shows you which songs were added for which user.
Stream more with Data Saver
Spotify believes that music should be accessible to everyone, anytime and anywhere they are. However, some music fans may be concerned about mobile data costs or data availability in their country. That’s why Spotify offers the Data Saver Mode, a simple toggle that optimises the listening experience to use lower rates of mobile data when listening to music.
Data Saver mode means that music streams at a lower bit-rate so you can listen to more music with less worry. Note that this isn’t a default setting, so make sure to switch it on in your ‘settings’ tab.
Personalise by Liking and Hiding
By using the ‘like’ and ‘hide’ buttons you will get recommendations tailored just for you. As you’re listening to songs, note which you ‘like’ by tapping the heart ♡ icon. You can also do this with artists, albums, and playlists. This way, Spotify will get to know what you love and want to hear more of – helping personalise the service to you even more. All your liked songs will then appear in a new playlist aptly named “Liked Songs” and newly-released tracks from artists you have listened to will appear in your Release Radar. On the other hand, tapping the “hide” ⊝ icon will ensure you don’t have to hear that song, or others similar to it.
Between more personalization, enhanced playlists, easily-to-create playlists, and a data-saving feature, what better way is there to listen to and discover music?
Here are some specially curated playlists you can enjoy now on Spotify:
With a user experience available in English as well as a growing range of locally curated playlists, music lovers can enjoy the vast catalogue of music, playlist and podcasts on the free tier.