Separate Play & Shuffle buttons for Spotify’s Paying Customers

Spotify entirely separates play and shuffle buttons — but just for Premium customers. Today, the company declared that it’s beginning to roll out unique buttons for the two functions, replacing the combined play/shuffle button currently at the top of playlists and artist pages.

The change will hit Android and iOS devices “in the coming weeks.” So you won’t see the combined play/shuffle button on your playlists anymore.

“This new change will let you select the mode you prefer at the top of playlists and albums and listen to how you want to,” Spotify wrote on its blog. “Whether you love the thrill of the unexpected with Shuffle mode or choose to listen to tunes in order by merely pressing Play, Spotify has you covered.”

Spotify’s penchant for scrambling tracks has often attracted the frustration of artists who enjoy their albums being heard in the original running order. “We don’t create albums with so much care and thought into our track listing for no reason,” Adele tweeted last year.

It led Spotify to default display the standard play button on album pages instead of the play/shuffle combo. Now, Spotify Premium customers will see individual buttons throughout the app. “From the moment you hit play on Spotify, you decide the way you want to hear your favorite playlists or that new album you’re obsessed with,” the company wrote.

It seems ludicrous that Spotify now uses buttons and its user interface as a differentiator between the service’s free and paid offerings, but here we are. Unfortunately, you still won’t be able to play or shuffle any Spotify HiFi tracks. It’s almost been 18 months since Spotify announced its lossless-quality streaming tier, and the company has yet to roll it out to subscribers.

Spotify is a Swedish proprietary audio streaming and media services provider founded on 23 April 2006 by Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon. It is one of the music streaming service providers, with over 422 Mn monthly active users, including 182 Mn paying subscribers, as of March 2022. Spotify is documented on the New York Stock Exchange in the form of American depositary receipts.

Spotify offers digital copyright-restricted recorded music and podcasts, including more than 82M songs, from record labels and media companies. As a freemium service, essential features are free with advertisements and limited control, while extra features, like offline and commercial-free listening, are offered via paid subscriptions. Spotify is presently available in 180+ nations as of October 2021. Users can search for music based on the album, artist, or genre and edit, create and share playlists.

Spotify is open in most of Europe, the Americas, and Oceania, with broad availability in 184 markets. The service is available on most gadgets, including macOS, Windows, Linux computers, Android and iOS smartphones and tablets, smart home devices like the Amazon Echo and Google Nest, and digital media players such as Roku.

Unlike download or physical sales, which pay artists a designated price per song or album sold, Spotify delivers royalties based on the number of artist streams as a proportion of total songs. It distributes roughly 70% of its total revenue to rights holders, who then pay artists based on individual agreements. About 13,000 out of seven million artists on Spotify generated $50,000 or more in payments in 2020.

Spotify was launched in 2006 in Stockholm, Sweden, by Daniel Ek, ex-CTO of Stardoll, and Martin Lorentzon, co-founder of Tradedoubler. The company’s label was initially misheard from a name called Lorentzon. Later they believed a portmanteau of “spot” and “identify.”

In February 2010, Spotify extended public registration for the free service tier in the UK. However, registrations surged following the release of the mobile service, showing Spotify halted registration for the free service in September, yielding the UK to an invitation-only policy.

Spotify was established in the United States in July 2011 and offered a six-month, ad-supported trial period, during which new users could hear an unlimited amount of music for free. In January 2012, the free trial periods started to expire and limited users to ten hours of streaming every month and five plays per song. Using PC streaming, you would notice a similar structure to what we see today, with a listener able to play songs freely, but with ads, every 4-7 songs depending on listening duration. Later that same year, in March, Spotify indefinitely removed all limits on the free service tier, including mobile devices.

In April 2016, Ek and Lorentzon penned an open letter to Swedish politicians, demanding action in three areas that they argued hindered the company’s ability to recruit top talent as Spotify grows, including access to flexible housing. In addition, it is better education in the programming and development fields and stock options. Finally, Ek and Lorentzon wrote that politicians needed to respond with new policies to continue competing in a global economy, or thousands of Spotify jobs would be moved from Sweden to the United States.

In February 2017, Spotify announced the expansion of its United States processes in New York City, at 4 World Trade Center, in Lower Manhattan, adding around 1,000 new jobs and retaining 832 existing positions. The company’s US headquarters are located in New York City’s Flatiron District.

On 14 November 2018, the company announced 13 new markets in the MENA region, including creating a new Arabic hub and several playlists.