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Spotify Tests Free Stations App for Leanback Listening

Music streaming service Spotify released a new Android app that’s all about free music Tuesday. The app, dubbed Stations, lets users stream curated music stations without much manual intervention — and without having to pay for a Spotify Premium subscription.

“Stations is the easiest way to listen to the music you love. Totally free,” according to a description of the app on Google Play Music. “Stations is an experiment by Spotify that makes it easy for anyone to listen to great music.”

With the app, Spotify apparently wants to solve the infinite choice problem that a lot of the premium music services have. Again, from the app description: “When you have access to all the music in the world, finding the right thing to play can feel like a challenge. With Stations, you can listen immediately, and switching stations is simple and seamless — no searching or typing needed.”

Stations will offer some personalization as users listen to their favorite programs, according to the app description. The app was first spotted by app analytics provider Sensor Tower.

An app that focuses on leanback listening via personalized radio stations: That approach seems very reminiscent to Pandora’s original streaming service. Coincidentally, Pandora’s latest apps also instantly begin music playback upon launch them, much like Stations promises to do.

At this point, it’s unclear how much of a focus Spotify will put on Stations. The app is currently incompatible with some key Android devices, including Google’s Pixel phone, and had been downloaded less than 100 times at the time of writing. “We’re testing new features all the time,” a Spotify spokesperson said when contacted for this story, declining to comment further.

 

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