‘Introducing Spotify Lite’ is the title of the streaming service’s latest announcement, although its new app won’t need much introduction to anyone who’s been following Spotify’s business in the last year. The company began testing its data-saving app in Brazil in July 2018; it launched in Malaysia in April 2019; and then in India in May, still described by the company as a ‘beta’ at that point. Now it’s getting a proper rollout across the world.
Well, some parts of the world. Spotify Lite is available in 36 countries as of this morning, with an emphasis on Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa rather than Europe and North America. Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Peru, Chile, Colombia, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Uruguay, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Algeria, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia, Oman, Jordan, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, South Africa, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and India, since you ask.
As with the previous tests, the app is smaller in file-size (just 10MB) and currently available for Android smartphones, including older devices running older versions of Google’s software. And as before, the app enables people to set a limit on how much data is used streaming music, with a notification letting them know then the limit has been reached. “Right now Spotify Lite is only available on Android. We hope to have an option for iPhone available soon,” explained Spotify’s FAQ for the app.
Going ‘Lite’ is a sensible move for Spotify as it eyes the markets where its next 100 million subscribers may come from. It’s also a strategy that’s been tried by other digital services: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram included.
“We believe that music is meant to be enjoyed by everyone, regardless of your network connectivity, data plan, and whether or not you have the latest phone,” Spotify’s LatAm head Mia Nygren told Music Ally in an interview for our upcoming country-profile of Mexico. “The app is particularly useful for when the network is patchy or users are struggling with the internet on-the-go, or for when users don’t want to spend much mobile data.”