Spotify is the streaming service with the most users by far, but new music is often discovered today by scrolling through short videos on Tiktok. The market leader now wants to regain the initiative.
Music streaming market leader Spotify is redesigning its app and making it look more like Tiktok and Instagram with a “Home Feed”. In the space, users will be able to scroll through suggestions for songs by their favorite artists, new music, and podcasts and audiobooks. The short preview clips are selected by software. Founder and boss Daniel Ek spoke of the biggest redesign since the smartphone app was launched.
So far, the Spotify app – like the competition – has mainly been designed to display playlists and the user’s music selection. Meanwhile, in recent years, the short video app Tiktok in particular has become a place where many people discover new music. With the conversion, Spotify could regain the initiative – or even annoy users who don’t want another feed instead of the usual user interface.
When the new app version debuted, the innovations were initially rather unobtrusive: the first glance at the application when it was opened remained unchanged, the separate feeds for music and podcasts were hidden behind buttons at the top of the screen.
Spotify wants to help people find content
In these areas, the preview clips will automatically start playing. However, the format is “not optimized like others so that more time is spent in the feed,” said product manager Gustav Söderström at the presentation with a barely concealed dig at Tiktok. Spotify’s goal is to help find content to listen to later. Accordingly, it is measured how many songs and podcasts users save when scrolling.
Spotify is number one in music streaming with a total of 489 million users. Of these, 205 million were paying subscription customers. Ek has also invested a lot of money in podcasts in recent years to increase advertising revenue. Podcasts also took up a lot of space in the presentation in Los Angeles on Wednesday. Among other things, it became clear that Spotify wants to focus more on video podcasts. Podcast authors also get access to better tools, for example for evaluating usage data.
Another new function for discovering fresh music is “Smart Shuffle”: Spotify adds additional songs to users’ existing playlists that the software thinks they should fit. For playlists with more than 15 titles, one more should be added for every three songs. Users can either keep the recommended titles or remove them from the list.