updated 02:44 pm EDT, Tue June 19, 2012
US users gain personalized streams based on liked songs
Spotify has updated its free iOS app to include a new radio feature. Users can stream their own station through the app for free while on the move, with no limit to the tracks playable for either free or Premium subscribers. The app also gives options for personalizing the station in real-time, as well as some social functions.
Stations can be created from songs, albums, playlists, or artists. Users can "like" tracks, for which the recommendation engine can choose similar music to play, as well as record liked tracks for easier retrieval at a later date. Friends' playlists can also be used for station creation, which relies on the Spotify catalog of over 16 million tracks.
It's speculated that the move to include radio was done to attract artists put off by the regular on-demand model, and to take advantage of lower government-regulated royalty rates.
The radio feature should now be available both in and outside of the US. Premium subscribers can listen to stations without ads. Meanwhile, plans for a matching Android update have yet to be announced.