With a projected user count of 500 million this quarter, Spotify announced new features and a platform redesign Wednesday at its Stream On event in Los Angeles.
/> The app's new look will be very similar to TikTok's, with vertical videos depicting music clips, podcasts and audiobooks that users can easily scroll through.
Once users and subscribers update their Spotify app, they will gain access to new features like “Smart Shuffle” –– a new option for playlist recommendations –– as well as the new home feed, a podcast autoplay feature, and personalized visual and audio previews.
Spotify is doubling down on podcasts by bringing more podcasts to the app via a partnership with Patreon that allows users to add shows Patreon creators make specifically for their subscribers. The platform will also begin featuring video podcasts, and with its new autoplay feature, listeners will hear a recommended podcast directly after their previous episode finished.
While the scrollable home feeds will be available to all Spotify users, some of these features, like Smart Shuffle, will only be available to subscribers, with some features reaching specific markets at different times.
According to the company, the interface makeover is meant to make the user experience more alive and interactive. With a similar look to Meta's Reels, there is also the potential for future advertising opportunities, though Spotify hasn't mentioned anything specifically.
In addition to the half-a-billion projected listeners, Spotify has also shared that the number of artists making over $1 million, as well as artists making over $10,000 on the platform has more than doubled in the past five years.
These new updates, however, may not be celebrated by users who are dismissive of social media and entertainment apps––like Instagram, YouTube, Snap, Netflix, Amazon, etc.––turning to the visual model TikTok made popular, especially among younger people.
To this point, Spotify's co-president and chief product and technology officer Gustav Söderström spoke at the event about how important recommendations are to the app's overall experience.
This viewpoint may help artists as well, with recommendations driving close to half of all users' streams. According to Söderström, “Each time your music gets played on a program like Release Radar, you receive on average three times more streams from that listener over the next six months.”