Spotify Launches New Video Feed to Keep Listeners Listening

Spotify is adding new features that will allow for more social expression and help users discover new music, among other things. The audio streaming giant service is adding a video feed designed to recommend songs, podcasts and audiobooks via short clips, like those found on TikTok, YouTube Shorts and Instagram. “Previews,” as they’re called, allow users to swipe through content recommendations. Generated either via algorithm or configured by an artist or podcaster, the short videos are meant to encourage a deep dive into something new or saving for later.

The company announced the news Wednesday at its 2023 Stream On event. “Our data shows that more listeners become committed fans after previewing what they’re about to listen to,” Spotify said, explaining that Previews “build on the dedicated feeds for Music, Podcasts & Shows, and Audiobooks” introduced last year.

“Being involved with the moments when users first hear new content, which the company calls ‘foreground discovery,’ is ultimately the key to retaining them, said Spotify co-presidents Gustav Söderström and Alex Norström,” according to The Wall Street Journal, which quotes Söderström explaining Previews takes Spotify to that next level.

“When you have your phone in your pocket, when you’re listening to a playlist, we’re really good at finding similar songs. But there’s another part of the discovery journey,” Söderström, who is also Spotify’s product chief, told WSJ regarding the foreground approach. Rather than benefitting from the after-effect of songs or artists that went viral on other platforms, Spotify wants to be out front.

“Spotify is redesigning the core homescreen of its app, trying to make it easier for users to find new stuff to listen to — and watch,” writes The Verge, adding that its “new design is part TikTok, part Instagram, and part YouTube.” The homescreen will now feature feeds for music, podcasts and shows, and audiobooks — each offering recommendations.

Spotify has been expanding into non-music formats to better compete with diversified competitors that are well-funded and offer music-streaming. These include Apple, Amazon and Google. TikTok has also been making a big music push. “Spotify, which has reported strong user growth but is unprofitable, is retooling its business,” says WSJ.

After previewing, users can “save, download, or share” with one tap; play from the start; or dive deeper by exploring a playlist, album or related content. Spotify says it’s “the first platform to enable truly seamless previews across music, podcasts, and audiobooks,” adding that the feature is “beginning to roll out to Premium and Free users globally across iOS and Android.”

Spotify Listeners Cross Half a Billion Mark, Reuters, 3/8/23

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