Spotify is gearing up to issue an update to its iOS app today, which will bring its popular radio feature to the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch for the first time and allow the service to take on rivals like Pandora or Slacker. What’s more, unlike its traditional music streaming service, the radio feature will not require a paid Spotify Premium subscription to use on mobile devices.
Radio was first introduced to Spotify’s desktop application late last year, and it allows users to generate an unlimited number of stations based on things like artists, albums, tracks, playlists, or genres. It has become a popular feature, but until now, it wasn’t available on mobile devices.
iOS users will be the first to gain access to radio on the go, then, and the best part is, it’s completely free. Even if you’re a Spotify free user, you’ll be able to access radio streaming via the Spotify mobile app. This is the first time the company has allowed users to stream music for free on mobile devices.
There will be a limit for free users, however, though Spotify is yet to disclose what that limit will be. For Spotify Premium users, streaming will be unlimited — as you’d expect.
There are some social features built-in to radio, such as the ability to display the songs and stations you’re listening to on Facebook, and access to stations based on the playlists created by your friends. But the niftiest feature in radio is the ability to begin listening to a station on one iOS device, and then pick up right from where you left off on another.
It’s not all good news, however. Radio will only be available to Spotify users in the United States for the time being, and there’s currently no word on when it will go global. Those in the U.S. can expect the update today.