Spotify unveiled its new design and it's oddly reminiscent of another sound/social app, TikTok. At the company's Stream On event, CEO Daniel Ek unveiled the app’s new home screen.
In an effort to make the home screen the center of the app (for those of us who skip straight to our playlist libraries), the new page will make it easier for users to find new things to listen to (and look at). The image-heavy design allows for endless vertical scrolling, resembling the doom-scrolling voids of TikTok or Instagram (which has its own iteration of TikTok in the form of Reels).
If video is where the money is, Spotify is cashing in. The homepage will come “alive” with auto-playing, vertically-scrolling videos to encourage listeners to dive deeper into a song, podcast or audiobook.
Touted as giving artists more control of their sound, Spotify wants all creators who monetize and distribute on the platform to take video into account.
“Trying to go viral with a video, posting on every social media app, even buying old-school ads, artists are doing whatever it takes to get attention,” said Joe Hadley, Spotify's Global Head of Artist Partnerships and Audience in an interview with Bloomberg. “Marketing music on these digital platforms that aren’t built for music is exhausting, and frankly, not very effective.”
While pushing artists to produce video content to promote their music, Spotify will also usher in updates for Discovery Mode, offering rights holders the option to accept lower royalty rates in exchange for algorithmic boosts. For reference, the app’s average return on streams was $0.0038 per stream for artists in a 2021 Union of Musicians.
Musicians are notoriously apprehensive about rolling out social/video content to get streams, but the update could increase traffic for podcasters by embedding videotaped podcasts within the app which, at that point, isn’t a straightforward listening app anymore.
Spotify is dipping its toe into the ever-murky waters of cross-content platforms. But of course, the shiny new omnipotent AI DJ stole the show for app users.
Photo courtesy of Spotify