SPOTIFY'S NEW FEATURES

By Gráinne Ní Aodha @GAodha

“Growth comes from engagement. Every time we increase engagement the likelihood people tell a friend increases.”

With 40 million active users and 10 million subscribers, there is no doubt that Spotify is on the rise, and is the emblem for profit-making streaming services. But with sharp competition coming up the rear from giants Apple and Google’s YouTube (not to mention Jay Z’s premium service Tidal), they need to be wary of falling behind and open to adaption.

Which is why yesterday evening, Spotify announced new features to their service to up their game in the battle for the streaming business. Here they are in a list below:

Now start page

“Spotify has always been about when you know exactly what you wanted to play, because you went to the search box for it,” says chief product officer Gustav Söderström. “We’re trying to change that.”

This is the idea behind the Now page, which aims to serve music suitable to whatever stage of your day you turn to Spotify. Listen to Workin’ 9 to 5 on a Monday morning, slide into some Birdy or Ed Sheeran on Wednesday at lunch, and turn to What is Love? or We Found Love on a Friday evening.

The great thing about this is, Spotify will learn what you like by noting what you listen to all the way through, and will eventually offer you more of the music you like at the time of the day and week that you need it. Video Killed the Radio Star, and Spotify’s killing the Internet search.

 Non-Music Content

As part of their adapt and survive strategy, and perhaps an even bigger part due to Tidal’s launch, Spotify are aiming to serve as a matrix for any online content you might need throughout the day.

Spotify will now include everything from news videos from Vice and WIRED, to Nerdist announcements, as well as entertainment clips from the likes of Comedy Central. This is to try to keep people on their site by giving them everything they might need from the online community of content.

“I’d like for users to start Spotify in the morning and not really pause it until they go to sleep,” Söderström says. “That would be ideal.”

Spotify Running

This is perhaps the best technology idea of the year so far. Spotify Running will meausure your walking/running pace, and then play a song that suits that pace. This is genius for two reasons; firstly more people than ever are conscious of their health and fitness, as we become more unfit because of the addictive nature of social media. As a company that has always emphasized the importance of community, Spotify Running couples the two in a perfect marriage, and is sure to not only please current users, but attract a whole new slice of the market.

Their coupling with Nike+ (and subsequent feature on the Nike app), plus six original songs from DJ legends such as Tiësto,  were surely costly but are also sure to pay off, both in terms of new subscribers and PR points.

Whether the news and entertainment features do as well to keep the Apple and Google giants with dust in their faces, is a question only Spotify’s users can answer. One thing is for sure, and that is Spotify is first out of the blocks, and sprinting way ahead.

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