In brief: Non-premium Spotify users will be subjected to ads when listening to Stations while paying users will enjoy an ad-free experience and have an unlimited number of skips. You'll also need a Spotify account to use Stations but don’t have to download the core app.
Spotify’s hassle-free music listening app is now available in the US on Android and iOS after initially launching in Australia as an experiment in 2018.
The idea behind Spotify Stations is to provide what’s known these days as a “lean-back” listening experience that is more like listening to the radio or Pandora. Instead of having to seek out music or create your own playlists, Stations lets you jump right in from the moment you launch the app.
There are some customization options, should you choose to take advantage of them. You can rate songs with a thumbs up or a thumbs down to help Spotify learn what sort of music you like. There are also plenty of curated playlists to tap into including Spotify’s own Discover Weekly, Favorites and Release Radar.
A Spotify spokesperson said in a statement that they routinely conduct a number of experiments to create better listening experiences for their users. “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,” the spokesperson added.