Spotify moves to embrace social listening
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Spotify moves to embrace social listening

Here’s something strange about streaming music market leader Spotify: over the years, it’s eliminated the social features that often helped it to stand out (remember in-app messaging?). Now, that trend looks like it could be reversing, with the creation of “social listening” – a service that lets multiple users add tracks to a playlist which they listen to together… despite not actually being together. Think of it as a kind of musical Facebook page, where everyone gets to share in a single experience, despite being separated by physical distance.

Spotify’s share price has appreciated by 11% year to date

Spotify Graph June 5

Source: Yahoo Finance

At time of writing, Spotify’s new social listening feature is only available to staff members – and the company’s staying tight-lipped when it comes to a timeline for possible release. Responding to TechCrunch, the online tech-industry publication that broke the news, Spotify said: “we’re always testing new products and experiences, but have no further news to share at this time.”

TechCrunch said that Spotify Social Listening was discovered by “reverse engineering sorceress” Jane Manchun Wong, who “discovered code for the feature buried in Spotify’s Android app.” The service uses a QR-style code to initiate it, and offers the following message when a Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connection becomes available: “Connect with friends: Your friends can add tracks by scanning this code – You can also scan a friend’s code.”

It’s nice to see Spotify look to the social elements of music, which, in a sense, is a return to its roots. It’s also nice, from an investment perspective, to see the company explore a potentially lucrative differentiator – if Spotify can become the social media of music, then it could leverage that into a manifest advantage against some of its competitors.

Disclosure

Dominion holds Spotify in its Global Trends Ecommerce Fund.


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