Spotify remains one of the most popular music streaming services in the world. From pop sensations to indie newcomers, the platform first made waves offering a user-friendly, affordable alternative to the CD.
From its inception way back in 2008, the platform has grown to achieve a userbase of around 320 million, and is consistently making headlines for its advanced approach to machine learning as a way of improving the experience not just for users, but for creators and musicians, too.
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The Latest Feature
Within playlists, artists can feature a brief, chatty video clip which is almost exactly the same as those offered through Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook. These ‘stories’ enable artists to add further personalisation to their accounts on Spotify, and to reach out to their listeners in a way that would, until recently, have been done via a dedicated social media account.
Why Focus on Short Form Content?
While it may seem like nothing more than a minor outlet for musicians to reach out to fans, this move toward short form content is occurring across online spaces. The internet has revolutionised the way we approach entertainment; from streaming services to new releases, we now take an instantaneous approach to everything that occurs on the internet.
Consider the world of gaming. For online gamblers, features such as casino bonuses ensure that new players have a ‘springboard’ that will propel them into the heart of the action. For mobile gamers, the machine learning supporting app stores ensures that the best titles for them are always the first they see when logging in to download a new title.
Netflix has experimented in the past with auto playing a snippet of a film or series when the user hovers over it, giving them a taste of the film before they even go looking for the trailer.
Short form content, and shortcuts into the middle of the action, ensure that internet users are able to extract as much information as possible, as quickly as possible. From Instagram’s stories feature to YouTube’s new ‘Short Videos’ section, giving internet users an easy route by which to navigate the web has proven incredibly useful across the board.
Will it Work for Spotify?
So far, Spotify’s latest feature has not managed to make any significant waves within its userbase. For many, the sense that this is simply an opportunity for further repetition across multiple online platforms is detracting from the content itself; artists can share personal anecdotes, but they could do that before.
While Spotify’s execs will, of course, see themselves as an entirely separate entity to the leading social media platforms, users do not. The vast majority of Spotify’s users hold at least one account on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, and are well-used to the opportunity to follow their favourite artists there.
For Spotify, this is a brand new feature, but for their userbase, it is something that has been in existence for many years – and has already gone through numerous iterations (none of which prompt any real change in terms of content) across multiple platforms already.