Spotify offers “lite” app, drills down on data usage
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Spotify offers “lite” app, drills down on data usage

Music streaming king Spotify is offering a new point of entry to its service for regions with sub-par internet: a “Spotify-lite” app that brings the company’s huge music library to users without gobbling up all their data. According to Spotify, the new app works on Android phones, and is available in Brazil and other countries where internet access issues make its full app unwieldy. Spotify isn’t the first company to release such a service: Facebook, Messenger, Uber, and Instagram all have “lite” versions, too.

Spotify’s share price is up by 13% so far this year

graph 0507 spotify

SOURCE: Yahoo Finance

According to Spotify, its new app will work in “all network conditions” – and while its main app uses 100MB, the lite version will take just 15MB to run. It’s also aimed at conserving data more generally, and (unlike the main app) will let you set a limit on how much data it uses. You can even monitor this figure in real time, as Spotify Lite will show you exactly how much storage and data it’s using at any given moment.

There are, of course, some sacrifices that have to be made to get Spotify operational in such a streamlined manner. They include the ability to play your music offline, choose “extreme” high quality playback, and use Spotify Connect to stream your audio to an external speaker. You’ll also be confined to shuffle mode, unable to choose which song of the playlist you’re listening to comes on next.

There’s no doubt that Spotify needs to work on this service to make it great (why bother with a paid account if you lose all the features that make it worthwhile?) but the strategy is a good one. If it wants to ad to its 170 million users worldwide, embracing emerging markets – with their sometimes-sketchy internet connections – is not a choice, it’s a necessity.


Dominion holds Spotify in its Global Trends Luxury Fund.

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