In short: You are either listening to Spotify on your desktop or listening to one of Spotify’s 15 curated playlists. Even without Premium, you can choose and skip songs as much as you like.
You know that free Spotify users are limited to shuffling songs, so it may come as a surprise when you are able to choose songs on Spotify without Premium. Let’s talk about it.
Can you choose songs on Spotify Free?
On the mobile app, you cannot choose a specific song for playback with the free version. You can only select an album or a playlist, but the songs are shuffled for you.
The only way you can choose songs on Spotify free is by listening on a desktop (but you will see ads) or listening to one of Spotify’s 15 curated playlists under “Made for You”.
Can you skip songs on Spotify Free?
On the mobile app, you can only skip six songs per hour with the free version. With the Premium version, however, you can skip as many songs as you like.
Why can I choose songs on Spotify without Premium?
You open Spotify one day and realize you can choose songs without a Premium membership. Here are 4 reasons why you are able to choose songs on Spotify without Premium.
1. You are listening on a desktop or PC
Are you listening to Spotify on your desktop? If yes, then it’s the reason why you can choose songs without Premium. You can choose songs even with the free version on your desktop.
The only difference between Spotify Free and Premium on a desktop is ads.
Spotify Premium on the desktop has no ads. The free version allows you to do everything on Premium, but you will see banner ads and ads that play once every 30 minutes.
I figured this out when I downloaded Spotify on my PC and logged into my account, which had all of my songs saved from my phone. I can freely skip and play any song I want without Premium.
Some people were also able to enjoy Premium benefits while listening to the free version of Spotify on their tablets and iPads. I guess tablets function like a desktop devices.
2. You are listening to Spotify’s curated playlist
One of the perks of using the Spotify free version is on-demand playlists.
When you first use the free version, you are encouraged to choose 5 or more artists you like so Spotify can learn more about your favorite artists, songs, and genre.
From there, Spotify uses the data from your taste onboarding to present you with 15 personalized and curated playlists. Every user will get something different.
When you’re listening to one of Spotify’s 15 curated playlists, you can play songs in any order and skip as much as you like, even if you are using the free version of Spotify.
These include popular editorial playlists and playlists algorithmically tailored to your listening preferences such as Daily Mix, Discover Weekly, and Release Radar.
You can find these playlists under “Made for You” on the “Home” page.
The songs on these playlists change frequently based on your listening history. However, if there’s a blue shuffle icon next to the playlist title, you can only shuffle songs.
3. Your account is new
If you’ve created your Spotify account in the last 7 or 14 days, you may be able to enjoy the Premium features that they are currently offering to new users in certain markets.
New free accounts are able to choose and skip songs for 7 or 14 days (depending on the market) so they can learn more about Spotify and discover new music and podcasts.
4. You’ve been given Premium benefits randomly
If you are able to choose songs on Spotify without Premium, you could be one of the lucky few people who were given Premium benefits at random.
According to a poll run by Android Authority, 27% of their readers were able to enjoy Premium benefits, such as choosing and skipping songs without limit, even with the free Spotify version.
I’m not sure if this is a promotion the company is running without telling anyone or if something is broken at Spotify. Whatever it is, nobody would complain when given free perks.
My guess is that you have been given some sort of “demo” at random. I think this is one of Spotify’s methods to convert more free users into Premium subscribers.