Trend Alert: Spotify Stations

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Streaming services have already taken over the role of radio in many music fans’ lives, and a new app from Spotify is likely to have the radio industry even more concerned. Stations is a simplified version of Spotify, with a focus on algorithmically created playlists and genre-based stations.

Spotify is currently trialling Stations for Android users in Australia. The app allows users to tune in without needing to think too much about what they want to listen to. No typing or searching is required - music starts playing as soon as the app is opened, and to change to a different station or playlist, you simply have to scroll and select your music source of choice. This alleviates the ‘paralysis of choice’ feeling that can put off casual music fans from streaming services with huge libraries of content.

The natural comparison for Stations is Pandora, the US product which was launched in 2000, pre-dating all the other major streaming services. Also known as Pandora Internet Radio, it uses an algorithm to create a personalised radio station for users by learning their tastes. It never crossed over to Europe, but still maintains a large user-base in the US. As of 2016, it had 81 million active users. Stations appears to be Spotify’s attempt to win over those Pandora users, and others who find its more traditional radio-style offering more accessible.

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