Spotify has long been at the forefront of the music streaming industry. Now the Swedish-based platform is aiming to take at-home streaming a step closer to how people enjoy listening to music a festival. Introducing “Social Listening,” an unreleased prototype which allows users to queue up multiple songs while listening together.
“You just all scan one friend’s QR-style Spotify Social Listening code, and then anyone can add songs to the real-time playlist,” writes Techcrunch. While the feature is still in its beta-testing phase, available only to Spotify employees, the tech company is refusing to divulge any further information at the current time regarding its release.
The feature was discovered by reverse-engineering expert and TechCrunch contributor Jane Manchun Wong, who found the original code for the feature embedded within Spotify’s Android app. “Connect with friends: Your friends can add tracks by scanning this code – You can also scan a friend’s code,” the feature explains.
Spotify users already enjoy Collaborative Playlists, which multiple friends can add to from their own apps, but Social Listening is designed for real-time sharing through a WiFi or BlueTooth connection, which could be groundbreaking for music streaming.
The feature would be astronomical for Spotify on several levels. First, it would allow Spotify to stand out in the highly competitive music streaming marketplace. Spotify would enjoy an edge over Apple Music, YouTube Music, SoundCloud, Tidal, and others. Second, Techcrunch notes the feature would create “a new viral growth channel” in which users would theoretically “urge friends to download the app to sync up.” Third, it would potentially encourage longer Spotify sessions, in turn bolstering “ad plays” or even “subscription retention.”
Spotify was first to introduce its algorithmically personalized Discover Weekly playlists, which were mimicked by Apple and SoundCloud. So, even as Spotify seems to have an edge with this new Social Listening playlist feature, the company may have to explore the possibility of patenting the technology. In any case, it’s an exciting new feature whose release seems imminent.