Spotify is fully separating its play and shuffle buttons — but only for Premium subscribers. Today, the company announced that it’s beginning to roll out individual buttons for the two functions, which will replace the combined play / shuffle button that’s currently at the top of playlists and artist pages. The change is expected to hit Android and iOS devices “in the coming weeks.”
The split play and shuffle buttons will only be available to Spotify Premium subscribers. While at first glance it might seem odd to only grant paying members access to the separate icons, it makes sense. Beyond select playlists, free users are only able to use Spotify in shuffle-only mode on mobile (this doesn’t apply to the desktop or tablet app). In the coming weeks, Spotify will roll out the separate play and shuffle buttons, which really should have been baked into the app from the jump.
Spotify Chief Financial Officer Paul Vogel attributed the increase to broad-based strength across regions, particularly in Europe and Latin America. An extra week of promotional activity and traction in multi-user products like Family Plan and Duo also contributed to the rise in Premium subs.
The Premium service makes up a large portion of Spotify’s revenue and gross profit. Premium revenue in Q2 surged 22% YoY to €2.5 billion, accounting for 87% of the group’s overall revenue during the period. Ad-supported revenue, meanwhile, grew 31% YoY and accounted for 123% of total revenue.Music Business Worldwide
It seems a bit ludicrous that Spotify is now using buttons and its user interface as a differentiator between the service’s free and paid offerings, but here we are. Unfortunately, you still won’t be able to play or shuffle any Spotify HiFi tracks. It’s now been almost 18 months since Spotify announced its lossless-quality streaming tier, and the company has yet to roll it out to subscribers. And no, I’ll never stop bringing it up.
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