Spotify is long. It was a platform that evolved faster than our personal taste in music. It updated its year-end wrap-around promotion and added AI DJ in the last few months alone. But this week, the streaming giant announced what CEO Daniel Eck called the biggest turn into Ten years into the platform: The app launched has been redesigned to be a place for music to feature video prominently.
At first glance, Instagram looks like another attempt by the social app to copy Snapchat and then TikTok to cannibalize its competitors for its own benefit. Spotify now has a variety of feeds for songs, podcasts, and audiobooks, looking half TikTok’s infinite scroll and half Instagram Stories. They feature video and audio content paired with music or podcasts. Some have eye-catching live captions that float across the screen, and audiobook previews can last up to five minutes.
Although Spotify might look and feel a lot like TikTok right now, it might have a different purpose. Instead of loading an endless stream of content onto users’ phones, it’s designed to let users preview new content they want to save, or at least save longer. According to Spotify’s announcement, listeners “become fans” after previewing content. Videos have previously accompanied songs and podcasts on the service, but this redesign puts them in front of users more quickly, along with snippets of audio clips.
“Voice services need to put people directly in touch with audio,” says Simon Dyson, music and digital audio analyst at Omdia. “If you can find something that plays audio in real time, you’re instantly hooked. if so [Spotify] He’s got the algorithm right, you’ll be hooked right away.
Spotify playlists have long been preferred for music discovery, but this new move makes that even faster. Scroll through the music feed and hear samples of songs. Maybe that means less jumping around with messy playlists. Such a move could help Spotify stand out in the audio streaming industry, Dyson says. And it comes as streaming growth is changing.
The market has reached saturation point, and Spotify has seen its market share slowly decline despite being a very popular service. Still, it added 33 million monthly active users in the final months of 2022 and revenue grew 18 percent year-over-year, with podcasts leading the way in advertising revenue.
Spotify has tried to stand out by spending hundreds of millions of dollars on podcasts, including a deal with Joe Rogan worth more than $200 million. The company expects podcasts to have higher profit margins than music. So designing the app in a way that can lead more people to them seems like an inevitable change. But Spotify canceled a number of original programs in late 2022 after making big investments in companies like Gimlet and Parcast.