At Spotify’s Steam On event in Los Angeles on March 8th, the platform introduced a new engaging feature to their mobile app that includes a vertical adjacent scrolling feature to now watch songs. With their recent introduction of the Spotify AI DJ, this is yet another step in the direction of enhancing the personalization that Spotify brings to their users. This new scrolling feed is meant to mimic the endless scroll on TikTok, but with different songs that Spotify’s algorithm thinks the user will want to hear. The new TikTok-inspired feed proves that social media is changing the way we interact with technology in various forms and mediums.
With viewers turning to platforms like TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram Reels to watch the visual element added to podcasts, music videos, and short film series’ – Spotify knew they were missing out on screen time. Now, users are going to be able to listen and watch all in one place: Spotify.
Spotify Is Making Music Feel ‘Social’
TikTok has redefined how people use social media and consume short-form content. Following the international success and growth of TikTok, we saw platforms like Instagram launch Instagram Reels, YouTube release YouTube Shorts, and even Snapchat releasing Snapchat Spotlight. Now, Spotify has entered the discussion. This is the first time we’ve seen a platform outside of direct social media mimicing this model, and we’re expecting to see a lot more throughout 2023. Spotify says the changes to their app are intended to make its user interface feel more alive and interactive.
The short-form content scroll displays music videos, podcast clips, and gifs that are connected to the sound track that the user is scrolling over. This is a way for users to discover new sound bites, songs, and experiences through Spotfiy.
Your Personal AI Generated DJ by Spotify
In addition to the rise of social media influencing how we engage with technology in 2023, we’ve seen the boom of AI (artificial intelligence) thus far in 2023. In the new vertical scrolling feed, you will see a light green circle orb sitting over a blue backdrop. The track title is “DJ” and is your very own personal DJ. This DJ is created entirely with artificial intelligence.
Using algorithms to understand what type of music you like, which moods you’re frequently in, and how you engage with the Spotify app – the DJ actually creates a written narative with AI, translates that to voice audio in AI, and then creates playlists for you with AI. This experience is meant to be individual for each user, and will play different DJ sets for you. Customizing each user’s experience based on their interaction with the platform in a randomized way. Does this remind you of any other social media feed… like TikTok?
Your very own DJ in your pocket, powered by AI. Find it in the music tab on the home feed.
Scrolling Feeds Tailored For You
As we know, each social media platform is battling one another for your time on their app. This is why TikTok has an endless scrolling feature, YouTube automatically plays the next video in the que for you, Instagram created slides so you can swipe horizontally and vertically, and Twitter updates their feed multiple times per second. The urge to always be consuming content in these scroll-like-interfaces drives the competition between technology platforms to create technology for you. On Spotify, you are able to toggle between a completely “tailored for you” scroll, a “Music” song scroll, or a “Podcast & Shows” scroll.
This shows the amazing feature that social media brings to the world and billions of users globally – it’s all built for you!
How Brands Can Benefit From Spotify’s Visual Feed
Before, audio streaming services would attract hundreds of thousands of podcasters. But, this content solely came in the form of audio. Most times, podcast hosts and public figures would tell their listeners to watch the podcast with video on platforms like YouTube or clips on TikTok. That was because there was no visual portion to audio streaming platforms.
Now with Spotify’s visual features, we predict that there is going to be a space and opportunity for brands to partner with podcast hosts that are integrating video into their Spotify podcasts. Similar to how brands can use influencer marketing on social media to promote their products and services, this can also extent to an audio space. Brands can sponsor podcasts in the form of product placements, branded takeovers of the scenery and background, and traditional product promotions that we see and hear today.
Brands like Trader Joe’s, Gatorade, Wix, Slack and more all have launched their own largely popular podcast on Spotify. Now, there is room for a visual element to this to engage listeners on a whole new level.
How Creators Can Benefit From Spotify’s Visual Feed
It’s extremely common for creators to launch their own podcast and conversation-based content series’. Though it has always been important to drive listeners to Spotify and Apple Music to increase cross-platform streaming numbers, the only main place to view content from these series’ was on TikTok, YouTube, or Instagram Reels. Bits of the content is often cut up into short-form clips and edited with engaging subtitles, animated pop-ups on the screen, and zoom in features.
With Spotify’s move to the visual realm, there is going to be an easier and simpler opportunity for creators to launch podcasts and episode-like series’ and engage with their audience on Spotify.
A variety of creators have done an exceptional job bringing a story-telling element to their persona online through podcast series. One of our favorites is Ricky Thompson and Denzel Dion’s “We Said What We Said” podcast. Check out how Spotify is already bringing a visual element to the audio-first medium here:
What Is Next For Social Media?
In an ever-growing landscape and technology space, we always ask ourselves what is to come in the future. For starters, Spotify isn’t going to be the only streaming service that is going to host vertical scroll-like features. SoundCloud has a feed where users can scroll through music their friends have published or reposted (which we think will take a visual approach soon). There is no doubt that Apple Music is working on something very similar, too.
The forever-feed-scroll will soon take over each and every aspect of social media!