Spotify is releasing what it calls its biggest app redesign to date — revealing a new “dynamic” mobile interface aimed at providing listeners a more active role in discovering new audio content and giving creators new ways to share their work.
The newly redesigned Spotify app will roll out to users worldwide in waves, starting Wednesday (March 8), the company said. It unveiled the new user interface at Stream On, its second event showcasing new features, creator tools and programming. The update is most significant change to Spotify’s mobile app since it debuted more than a decade ago and is about “bringing Spotify to life,” CEO Daniel Ek said at the event.
Highlights of Spotify’s redesigned app experience include a new vertically oriented Home feed, with subfeeds for Music, Podcasts & Shows, and Audiobooks with personalized visual and audio previews; Smart Shuffle, which suggests new songs when you’re building a playlist that you can add with the tap of a button; and Autoplay for Podcasts, which will automatically start playing a new podcast episode that matches a user’s tastes.
The new Spotify app also prominently features the previously announced DJ, a personalized AI-powered guide with a realistic-sounding synthetic deejay voice, that plays a stream of music based on your musical tastes and listening history. The beta version of DJ, launched Feb. 22, is currently available to Spotify Premium subscribers in the U.S. and Canada. Users with access to DJ have spent 25% of their listening time with the feature (and more than half of first-time listeners have returned to listen to DJ the next day), according to Spotify internal data collected from Feb. 22-March 1.
Spotify released an animation showing the look and feel of the new music feeds:
Spotify’s recommendations drive nearly half of all users’ streams, and when listeners decide to follow a creator, on average they listen to five times more of their music, according to Gustav Söderström, Spotify co-president and chief product and technology officer. “That’s why discoveries on Spotify — unlike many other platforms — give creators so much more than just a fleeting moment of viral fame,” he said. “Those meaningful, long-term connections are a key part of what makes Spotify a platform for professional and aspiring artists.” According to Söderström, Spotify’s app is optimized not to maximize time spent listening but to help users find what they want to listen to as quickly as possible.
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Within the new Home experience on mobile, users can scroll through visual feeds for music, podcasts and audiobooks to sample audio (and video podcasts if available) before diving in. If they find something they like, they can tap to save or share, preview multiple songs from a playlist or album, read along with transcriptions for many episode picks, or even watch video podcasts.
The new Spotify app’s Search section lets users scroll up or down to explore short visual canvas clips from tracks from users’ favorite genres. Spotify also is bringing this feature to popular playlists like Discover Weekly, Release Radar, New Music Friday and RapCaviar, letting users quickly preview tracks on a playlist before diving in.
Amid the changes, Spotify noted that Favorites will remain in the app. Users’ shortcuts, or most recently played tracks, will still appear at the top of the Home feed; in addition, the app will add those to the top of the Music, Podcasts and Shows, and Audiobooks subfeeds.
Among other announcements at Wednesday’s Stream On, Ek said the company has paid out nearly $40 billion to music rights holders to date.