The experimental app mimics the experience of listening to the radio or Pandora by requiring less manual input from users.
Spotify’s experimental lean-back listening app Stations is now available for both iOS and Android devices in the U.S. The app was previously only available in Australia, where it was introduced for Android in January 2018 and iOS just last month.
Stations is a minimalist spin-off of the standard Spotify app that effectively mimics the experience of listening to the radio by requiring less manual input from users. Unlike the main Spotify app, there is no typing or searching required; users simply tap, scroll and swipe to create the experience they want. Over time, Stations personalizes playlists (“stations”) for each individual user based on their listening history. It is meant to be a complementary experience to Spotify's main app.
“With the world’s music at your fingertips, finding the right thing to play can feel like a challenge,” reads a description of Stations on both Apple’s App Store and Google Play. “Stations gets you to music instantly—no searching or typing needed. As Stations learns more about what you like, it creates stations packed with the music you love, made just for you.”
Like Spotify’s rival Pandora, Stations begins playing music the minute a user opens it. Free users are required to listen to ads, while premium users enjoy an ad-free experience and can skip an unlimited number of tracks.
To further personalize their experience, both free and premium users also have the option to “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” songs, customize which stations appear in the main menu, hide the stations they don’t like and create new ones by tapping artist photos. They can also modify individual playlists by renaming them, adding or removing specific artists or deleting them from the interface entirely.
Stations additionally incorporates Spotify’s popular personalized playlists Discover Weekly, Release Radar and Favorites.
"At Spotify, we routinely conduct a number of experiments to create better listening experiences for our users," a Spotify spokesperson told Billboard. "Some of those tests end up paving the way for our broader user experience and others serve only as an important learning. Spotify Stations is one of those tests."
To use Stations, users must have a Spotify account, though they are not required to download the main Spotify app.