Spotify is now not only a streaming app, it is a social community

With Spotify’s current launch of feedback on podcasts, the streamer is taking yet one more step towards constructing a social networking expertise in an app primarily identified for music. With feedback, podcasters can now interact with their listeners straight inside Spotify, as they will with different interactive options like Polls and Q&As. Mixed with the app’s 2023 revamp, which added a TikTok-like discovery feed, artist profiles the place creators can hawk merchandise and live performance tickets, in addition to the flexibility to publish to tales, Spotify’s app is shaping as much as be a social community centered round all issues audio, not only a music-streaming app.

Following this week’s added help for feedback on podcast episode pages — a social networking function if there ever was one — the query now could be whether or not Spotify will add one thing comparable for music artists sooner or later. This could possibly be an much more compelling addition to the app, because the fanbases round musicians are typically bigger and extra energetic than these round most podcasts.

When talking with Spotify VP of Podcast Product Maya Prohovnik concerning the launch of feedback, we ventured a query about including help for feedback on artists’ pages, too.

Prohovnik didn’t outright deny that such an thought was into account, as an alternative initially declining to remark, earlier than including that: “I can see a world where we extend [support for comments] to other formats on Spotify, but we always want to do whatever is right for the format, and those types of creators and artists.”

It’s price noting that the thought to construct a social community in a music app has been tried earlier than by Spotify’s high competitor, Apple.

In 2010, Steve Jobs launched iTunes’ new social community Ping as “Facebook and Twitter meet iTunes,” calling it a “social network all about music.” Clearly, Jobs was onto one thing, however Ping by no means discovered success within the Apple founder’s lifetime. Shortly after Jobs’ loss of life, Apple shut down Ping in 2012, a uncommon flop for the iPhone maker. Apple later tried once more with a social function for musicians, Join, which additionally didn’t final.

Even as we speak, Apple continues to half-heartedly embrace social networking in its Apple Music streaming service, with an non-compulsory function that can periodically verify the contacts in your gadgets to suggest new mates to observe so that you can see what they’re listening to.

Picture Credit: Spotify

Nonetheless, not like Apple, Spotify has by no means made a daring declaration that it was constructing a social community targeted on audio.

Quite, the corporate has quietly and slowly rolled out a collection of options that merely make the app extra social for each creators and their followers. With final yr’s redesign, as an example, Spotify added in-app video feeds throughout its Residence pages, together with its tabs for Music, Podcasts and now Audiobooks. Although these feeds’ designs have been tweaked since launch, the transfer served as a sign that Spotify was taking learnings from Gen Z’s most popular social community, TikTok, when designing its personal product.

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek spoke to TikTok’s affect in the course of the firm’s Q1 2024 earnings, telling buyers that TikTok and others had “improved the user experience” and that the business was “learning about these trends and trying to improve our products.”

“… We are not any different than anyone else in that we’re trying to learn from the marketplace,” Ek stated, hinting on the app’s TikTok inspiration. “We learn what consumers like. We try to improve upon it and make the best possible user experience.”

Picture Credit: Spotify

Over the previous yr, the corporate additionally added new methods for artists to succeed in followers, by means of a Spotify Clips function, that labored equally to Tales on different social networks. Right here, artists may add 30-second movies to their profile pages and album pages.

Artists may get followers enthusiastic about new releases with Countdown Pages, and followers proceed to listen to from favourite artists by means of video messages through the corporate’s annual Spotify Wrapped marketing campaign. In the meantime, Spotify customers can proceed to observe creators and mates on the platform to remain up to date on the newest music and occasions and see what mates are streaming. They will collaborate on playlists with others in some ways, together with in actual time. The corporate has beforehand been noticed testing a Group function that might permit customers to see, in actual time, what others have been streaming.

With the addition of feedback, Spotify envisions an app the place customers aren’t simply launching audio after which returning their telephone to their pocket, however one the place they’re actively engaged, sharing their ideas, emotions and opinions as they’d on a standard social community.

Mixed, these options are starting so as to add as much as an app that’s not simply one other music streamer, however one which goals to compete for customers’ time — and finally, the advert {dollars} — spent on bigger social networks.

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