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Spotify founder Daniel Ek has today announced that the Swedish music streaming company would be extending its free, ad-supported, model to mobile devices including tablets and mobiles for the first time.

Previously Spotify only worked on mobile devices with a premium subscription, but today that’s all changed. Now anyone can listen to Spotify’s mobile app for free with ads – but there is a catch.

Users of Android or iOS mobile phones will only have access to Shuffle, basically this means you can listen to an entire artists’ back catalogue in a random order with ads. Tablets on the other hand will now get the same experience as you’d find on the free desktop version of the streaming service – so the full streaming service with ads, and no restrictions on features. Confused? So are we.

It’s a bit mystifying to see mobile devices split into a two-tier system – but it’s likely this was the only way Spotify could get the major labels to agree to the new system.

Spotify also announced 20 new markets, growing the app from 35 markets to 55 markets. All of the new markets will have access to the newly announced mobile products.

Andrew Rafter

Andrew Rafter is the editor and founder of Harder Blogger Faster.