App Love: Spotify Radio

I love searching for songs and recordings on Spotify, everyday. Although I only signed up for its basic (free) membership, I’m able to enjoy millions of streaming tracks and organize my favorite tracks into playlists. When the Spotify mobile app came out, I downloaded it to my phone without hesitation.

But I deleted the app just as fast because the app only worked with paid membership :-).

Spotify sent out emails to users on Wednesday, June 20th with the heading: 


Spotify Radio is a Pandora-like feature  that allows the listener to choose a genre (or style of a specific singer/band). You can build your radio station by giving Spotify’s music pick a ‘thumbs up/down’. This is screenshot of a Blues selection – Muddy Waters(!) – before I liked it:

Each ‘liked’ song is saved as a playlist file (i.e.‘Liked from Radio’) and easily accesible. If you don’t like the song Spotify has picked for you, it lets you skip up to 6 songs per hour. Pretty reasonable, I say.

This app was terrific to use when I was stuck in traffic yesterday. I listened to many more artists and recordings than I had in my mobile music collection. I enjoyed recordings of familiar artists like Sir Neville Marriner, John Mayer, and Stevie Ray Vaughan. And listening to Friendly Fires, Calla, Dropkick Murphys, and Rumer for the first time was just fun.

A few caveats: 

1. All kinds of ads can be heard a few times during your listening period. If you’re connected to your car audio through Bluetooth, or using the speaker on your device,  just know that your kids can hear these, too. Some ads are just for adults.

2. Since it’s not a regular FM/AM radio, there are explicit songs.

3. Spotify Mobile Radio feature is just for iOS right now. Android users, just wait a little longer.

Family Idea: Listen to music together 

Make music listening a part of your family’s summer. If you have younger kids, choose  a genre you want to listen with your kids and listen to new songs with them. If you have a preteen or a teenager, it might be fun to take turns picking new genre of music to listen together. As I mentioned earlier, there are many explicit songs in the database so pick more family friendly genres. For example, ‘Soul’ would have less explicit songs than ‘Hip-hop’ (although the topics that the songs from either of these genres might be equally adult-ish!). You, the adult, can decide what would make sense for your family.

As a test, I gave my phone to my 13-year old daughter. She naturally turned to ‘Alternative’. It was funny that the first song we listened to on this app was Ed Sheeran’s Lego House. This song happens to be one of her favorites so she was happy. She was also quick, though, to point out that Ed Sheeran should be classified under ‘Singer-Songwriter’, not ‘Alternative’. We listened to other genres, including the ‘Blues’ which she thought was cool. I loved spending our car ride talking about music.

I recommend it! Try Spotify Radio & experience more music! ~Yoon

If you like: Read my NPR Music App review.

3 thoughts on “App Love: Spotify Radio

  1. Guess I’m going to have to give Spotify a try. I’m quite addicted to the U2 station on Pandora, though so it’ll be tough to breakaway from my go-to music app. 🙂

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