Is Spotify radio free on mobile devices and desktop computers?
The simple answer that question is yes, Spotify radio is free.
Until you upgrade to a paid version of Spotify however, you will have to deal with advertisements similar to those featured on Pandora.
If you’re anything like me, you may have been using Spotify since it was released in the United States to build playlists and listen to whatever song you like whenever you want.
See Also: Try Spotify Premium with Free Trial
Until recently however, I’ve still been using Pandora radio while driving in my car or when I don’t feel like playing DJ while I’m at my computer.
Spotify has featured a free radio service on their desktop platform for quite some time now and, recently, has brought the same free radio service to iPhones and Android mobile devices.
Is Spotify radio as good as Pandora radio?
From a pure radio standpoint, the answer to that question is no, Spotify radio is not as good as Pandora radio.
Unlike Pandora however, while listening to Spotify radio, users can add songs to their already created Spotify playlists.
The reason that Pandora still trumps Spotify as strictly a radio is because Pandora still features a superior music discovery algorithm.
If you’ve used Pandora radio, you know that Pandora will play songs that it believes are similar to the original song, album or artist that you created the radio channel with. As you use Pandora radio, you have the option to like or dislike songs which further increases the accuracy of your radio channel.
Spotify features the same system but it just doesn’t work as well yet. Spotify radio repeats songs a lot more than Pandora radio and often has trouble introducing new, good music.
Additionally, if you “like” a song on Pandora, you can later change your mind and “dislike” the song. Once you like or dislike a song on Spotify, you cannot change it. I assume this “bug” will be fixed in a later release of Spotify.
Another additional feature that Spotify has in comparison to Pandora is the ability to create a radio station from a playlist you’ve already created. For example, you can create a playlist of 100 reggae songs and then create a Spotify radio station from that entire list of songs.
I’ve been using this feature a lot lately on Spotify and I’ve noticed one problem with it. If I create a radio channel based on one of my playlists and then add more songs to the playlist, the radio channel is not updated.
While listening to Spotify radio on a mobile device, you still have the ability to add songs that appear to a playlist you’ve created. In my opinion, this is the best feature of Spotify radio.
In conclusion, Pandora still trumps Spotify as a radio but when you factor in the additional features of Spotify, I believe Spotify delivers a more well-rounded user experience.
Spotify radio is free and all signs point to continuous improvement of both the mobile and the desktop application!