Spotify is trying to sell more multi-account family-plan subscriptions — by setting up a special “playground of sound” just for kids.
The new Spotify Kids app brings together a hand-picked selection of age-appropriate music, singalongs, soundtracks, and stories for kids as young as 3 years old. The app is available in a beta test period initially only in Ireland starting Oct. 30, and will come to other countries where Spotify Premium Family is available in the next few months.
It’s designed to push more consumers to Spotify’s full-fledged Family plan, priced at $14.99 per month in the U.S., which offers up to six accounts. The individual $9.99-per-month Spotify Premium service lets customers listen to music and audio programming on just one device at a time.
The initial launch of Spotify Kids in Ireland will include 80 playlists with approximately 6,000 songs. A company said as the app rolls out more widely, the pool of content will grow over time.
Parents can set up accounts with two distinct buckets of content: “Audio for Younger Kids” with singalongs, lullabies and soundtracks or “Audio for Older Kids” with popular tracks and playlists (which exclude explicit content). Spotify isn’t specifying age ranges for the different sections, leaving it up to parents’ discretion. The app is simpler to use than the regular Spotify app and features the ability to select cutesy, animated avatars for each child’s profile.
The company didn’t provide examples of specific artists or content that will be in Spotify Kids, but a rep said the “Audio for Younger Kids” section will include content licensed from partners including Disney and Nickelodeon.
According to Spotify, it spent several months conducting research with children’s content experts to develop Spotify Kids. The content included in Spotify Kids is vetted by a dedicated team at the company, which includes staffers who hail from Nickelodeon, Disney, Discovery Kids, and Universal Pictures. Another plus: There aren’t any ads in Spotify’s subscription services anyway, so it doesn’t have to deal with various restrictions on serving advertising to minors.
“Spotify Kids is a personalized world bursting with sound, shape and color, where our young listeners can begin a lifelong love of music and stories,“ said Spotify chief premium business officer Alex Norström.
The rollout of Spotify Kids comes after the company recently added several other new features to Premium Family designed specifically for families, including parental controls to filter explicit content, a “Family Mix” playlist with personalized songs for the whole family, and a family hub where primary account holders can manage all settings in one place.
The Spotify Kids app will be available for Spotify Premium Family subscribers at no additional charge for iOS or Android devices once the app launches in-market.
Playlists in Spotify Kids will span various content categories including: movies and TV shows; current hits; activities (like play time, party time, bedtime and homework); genres; seasonal; Spotify originals; and stories. There also will be select playlists for specific artists or groups.