Spotify goes free on mobiles and tablets (as long as you don’t mind an ad or two)

Spotify’s once paid-for mobile service might not need those credit cards any longer, provided you have no problems with an ad or two, as Spotify makes its “all you can eat” music service available to all for free.

Australians first saw the unlimited music service in 2012, when it launched as an alternative to services like Rdio, JB HiFi Now, Google Music All-Access Sony’s Music Unlimited, and Samsung’s Music Hub, which offered similar solutions, though for different devices and prices.

This week, the launch of Spotify as a free service is a little bit different and offers mobile and tablet owners across both iOS and Android a different service than the premium $11.99 per month plan which Spotify still makes available.

As such, Spotify’s free plan for mobiles won’t let you play any song you want on demand, but will let you play the catalogue of an artist, or even a playlist from your account. You can, of course, create your own playlists, but specifically picking a song to play seems to be something Spotify has reserved for the desktop and tablet free version, as well as the premium service.

“Today we’re giving people the best free music experience in the history of the smartphone and the tablet,” said Spotify’s founder and CEO Daniel Ek.

“Whether you’re going to the gym, or having a party with friends. Just sit back and let Spotify serve you great music for every moment of your life.”

Unexpectedly, paying Spotify’s monthly premium offers the most amount of features, including some things that are missed out on both the mobile and tablet free versions, such as high quality audio, the ability to download and cache music so you can play it offline, and no ads, with the latter of these the way Spotify is paying for the freebie that it’s unveiled this week.

For many Spotify listeners and account holders, though, this probably won’t be an issue, and being able to listen to their playlists on the go will likely suit them fine, especially as they don’t have to put down any money for the occasion.

It’s worth noting that the free versions lack the ability to download and cache music, so you will be chewing through mobile bandwidth for this privilege, though we suspect anyone currently trying any of the other all you can eat mobile music services already knows this.

Currently, Spotify’s free app is available on smartphones and tablets across the iOS and Android ecosystems, though no availability has been confirmed for the release of either a BlackBerry or Windows Phone equivalent.