Competition in the streaming music arena is fierce, with several different competitors battling it out for the headphones of consumers and more entrants joining the fray soon. Today Spotify announced its latest effort to draw users toward its service: Spotify free for tablets. Spotify and others have been offering free radio-style streaming while charging for on-demand access for a while now, but today Spotify announced that Android and iOS tablet users can now stream on-demand music just like they would on the desktop, so long as they're willing to listen to some ads as well.
Mobile users aren't getting left out of today's fun, though, as Spotify also announced a new Spotify Shuffle option for smartphone users. Shuffle allows the listener to select an artist that he or she would like to listen to and actually have access to that musician's catalog. The catch is that the music will be played on shuffle, though the user will have the option of skipping songs and adding ones that he or she does enjoy to a playlist.
Spotify continued its announcements with some news that affects all of its users, not just the free or new ones. The company revealed that it's adding Led Zeppelin to its catalog, giving Spotify a big exclusive when it comes to on-demand music streaming. Spotify says that it's releasing Led Zeppelin I and Led Zeppelin II today and will continue adding albums to its catalog this week at a rate of two per day.
As I mentioned before, there are already a number of streaming music services available on the market, and each one appears to have one or two big features that it can use to lure users to its offering. Today Spotify's goodie bag grew in size with free tablet and shuffle streaming to try and attract new users and eventually convert them to paid subscribers. Meanwhile, the addition of Led Zeppelin can be used to draw in new users and keep existing ones around, and being the only streaming service to offer on-demand access to Zeppelin's catalog is a pretty big deal for Spotify.
UPDATE: Spotify also announced that it will expand to 20 new countries today, including Costa Rica, Slovakia, Panama and the Czech Republic. The service is now available in 55 countries around the world and boasts over 20 million tracks, 24 million active users and 6 million paying subscribers.