Spotify’s new Stations app is all about playlists without any of the faff

Spotify has unfurled its wings and stealthily released a new app called Stations into the Google Play Store.

Stations gives you simple, ad-supported, yet nonetheless subscription-free, listening of all of Spotify’s curated playlists. 

The app, which is currently only available in Australia, works a lot like Spotify’s own Radio Stations found in the core Spotify app and repackaged in a free, new box. 

As soon as you login with your Spotify account, you’ll be greeted with an unexpectedly simplistic interface with large, minimalist font detailing all of Spotify’s genre-based stations such as Hip Hop, Indie, and even Discover Weekly and Release Radar. 

Whichever station you’re on at that moment will begin playing straight away. And therein lies the hitch. 

With so much simplicity, you lose functionality. All you’re able to do on the Stations app is pause, play and ‘love’ a track. You can’t skip songs, you can’t rewind to previous ones, you can only select a genre you like and listen to Spotify’s curated playlist. After a while, the app does begin to learn what you like and suggests playlists but it gives you absolutely no freedom to choose your own music and search for songs. 

“When you have access to all the music in the world, finding the right thing to play can feel like a challenge,” the Google Play Store app description reads. “With stations, you can listen immediately, and switching stations is simple and seamless – no searching or typing needed.”

That probably means that having a function-heavy app is not Spotify’s goal. The app, which the company itself calls an experiment in the Google Play description, is likely to be just a bit of a teaser to get new subscribers on-board the Spotify hypetrain – and at least it’s opening up more free options. 

Currently, free users on Spotify can only listen to music on shuffle on mobile devices. Spotify might also have something else to gain from it too, when you consider that it’s not a wholly original concept.

The ‘if you like this, you’ll also like this’ service has been done numerous times, with the likes of Last.fm and Pandora in the US being wildly successful. For now, I look at Stations more as a free, easy way to get music playing quickly and hassle-free. 

Whether Stations will actually leave the shores of Australia or not, we still don’t know, but you can download it from Google Play right now. 

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