Spotify is testing out a new feature that could let friends listen to music simultaneously despite not being together. The new program, called Spotify Social Listening, lets users create a queue of music to share with their friends or followers and listen to the playlist together. The feature has not launched just yet, but it seems like a promising future for the music streaming platform as it moves forward.
How Social Listening Works
It may sound a lot like a playlist or a live podcast, but the social listening feature lets users curate and share playlists among one another. Users will simply have to scan a QR code or something similar on another users profile to be connected to their playlist. From there, users can either listen in on the playlist or add their own songs to share music within the same playlist. The program is still a prototype, but Spotify seems confident that this could be a lucrative program in the future.
Eventually, Spotify may expand the feature to let users listen to music together, note by note, despite not being in the same room. Where a playlist or podcast would work from one end to the other, Spotify social listening would create a live setting where the two users could interact with one another on both ends. This could be particularly lucrative for the future of the music industry if artists could host live playlist sessions where they swap music with their fans.
The social listening future is currently only available to Spotify employees as the company tests out the prototype of the feature. A code for the feature was discovered by Tech Crunch, buried within the Android version of the app’s code. Right now the prototype allows more than one user to control the music on one playlist. At social events, for example, this could let multiple users control the music. In businesses, it would give the music controls over to more than one employee, where each employee can swap, remove, or add new songs to a shared playlist.
Streaming’s Rise To The Top
In 2019 it would be hard to find someone that chooses to buy their music rather than simply buy a subscription to a streaming platform. Where Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime TV, and soon to be Disney+ dominate the movie and TV streaming industries, Apple Music, Spotify, and Tidal are at the top of the music streaming industry. Video streaming platforms compete with one another by offering different content, as well as original content. But in the music streaming industry, user experience and features are the main attraction that draws consumers from one service to another.
As Apple invests more into new music platforms and apps with the death if iTunes, Spotify gears up to enhance its overall user experience with additions like social listening. While the company has not announced a released date for social listening, the buzz about the service from different media outlets indicates that the service is generating excitement.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on June 24, 2019.