Media Production Editor
Like many people, I use Spotify every day. It has all of the music I like and all of the podcasts I enjoy. Now, this service is also trying to become my favorite app for watching video podcasts, listening to audiobooks, and discovering new media.
On Mar. 8, Spotify held a conference called Stream On where top Spotify executives announced upcoming features. On a personal level, I found this to be very interesting. All the new features coming to the app I use the most are a welcome surprise; however, Spotify seems to be transitioning to short videos along with all the other major social media apps. Now, for other platforms, this would be a bad thing, only adding more short-form ultra-consumable content to an ever-growing group of apps with this feature. However, I believe that this is beneficial for streaming platforms, especially Spotify because it helps more people discover new music at a much quicker rate.
Many amazing new features were unveiled at Stream On. For example, Spotify announced a new “Smart Shuffle” feature for playlists. This feature is similar to the “Enhance” feature that adds new songs the algorithm thinks would fit great into the selected playlist. The key difference is that smart shuffle will not add songs to your playlist, which I think is a great way to test out new music. Spotify also switches up the song choices each time you use smart shuffle, meaning that you can keep trying out new songs, fostering more discovery. It reduces the amount of time it takes a user to find music they will have a high likelihood of enjoying. Spotify knows the mood of each song in your playlists, the songs you listen to the most, and the genre and style of all your music; the algorithm can easily find songs that match those same specifications.
While some may criticize Spotify for creating a TikTok-style homepage, as well as short video clips for songs, I do not see this as an issue. With Spotify catering to shorter attention spans, it is now much easier for fans to find music they enjoy, in a format they are familiar with, an objective stressed many times during Stream On. Spotify wants fans to find more music they enjoy, which is a win-win for everyone. Fans can discover music they enjoy in a more hands-on way, and artists make more money with the increase in streams for each song. Also, the ability to find more songs in a far shorter time frame adds an excitement factor to looking for new music.
Spotify is also rolling out a feature called “Spotify Clips,” which are short videos filmed and posted by artists that are meant to build connections with fans, separate from the videos mentioned above. I applaud Spotify for going beyond just listening, and as someone who uses the app often, I am certain many of these new features will affect me in one way or another.