Spotify Stations, the streaming service’s lightweight listening app offering easy access to curated playlists, is shutting down on May 16. The company told TechCrunch that the app and web player will no longer be available after this date. The Stations app was originally designed for those who want a more radio-like experience, rather than having to seek out music or customize their own playlists. Spotify Stations first launched in Australia in 2018 and later rolled out in the United States in 2019.
"At Spotify, we routinely conduct a number of experiments to create better listening experiences for our users," a spokesperson for Spotify said in a statement to TechCrunch. "Some of those tests end up paving the way for our broader user experience and others serve only as an important learning. Our Spotify Stations Beta was one of those tests. We will be sunsetting the current feature, but users will be able to easily transfer their favorite stations and enjoy a similar radio experience directly within the Spotify app."
Spotify hasn't elaborated on the reason behind its decision to shut down Stations, but notes that users can move all of their favorite stations to the main Spotify app to continue listening to them. The company says that while it doesn't take sunsetting services lightly, Spotify Radio provides a similar listening experience to Stations so listeners can use that instead. Spotify Radio is a feature in the main app that creates a playlist based on any song, album, playlist or artist you select.
Spotify Stations has been considered an experiment by Spotify, and by some others, a Pandora copycat due to its support for instant music playback at launch. Spotify Stations is appealing to those who prefer a simpler user interface, as Spotify’s flagship app’s look-and-feel isn’t something that everyone likes. The app provided a minimalist listening experience that seems to have appealed to some users.
As of Friday morning, the Stations app has disappeared from both the iOS App Store and the Google Play Store, but the app itself seems to be functional for the time being to allow current users to move their stations to the main app.
The news comes as Spotify has been making some changes to its apps. Last month, Spotify announced it will integrate the live audio capabilities from its companion app, Spotify Greenroom, within the main Spotify streaming app. Greenroom will also rebrand as “Spotify Live” as part of these changes. At launch, Spotify’s main app will only feature live content from select original programming, while the standalone Spotify Live app will continue to allow independent creators to go live.