With new products, the audio company aims to be a source of music discovery
Spotify unveiled a host of new features, advertising products and tools for creators at its annual Stream On event Wednesday. The moves reflect the increasing priority the company has placed on discovery and short-form video.
Speaking to a crowd of audio creators at its Los Angeles campus, chief executive Daniel Ek shared the redesigned mobile home page that prominently displays video previews of music, podcasts and audiobooks in a clickable slideshow.
“This marks the biggest change to Spotify since we launched mobile 10 years ago,” Ek said. “From audio to video, we’re giving you the resources to grow your audience by arming you with better tools, which means more control over your art than ever before.”
Along with the reimagined, video-centric user experience, the company debuted a new discovery feature that mimics the upward-swiping motion of TikTok.
Spotify, in weaving short-form video elements into the fabric of its flagship app and debuting a slew of tools to boost the discoverability of its musicians, offers a tacit acknowledgment of the role that TikTok has assumed in the music industry, said Eunice Shin, the head of media and entertainment at the brand strategist Prophet.
“Right now, people go to TikTok for entertainment, discover new music and then look it up on Spotify,” Shin said. “TikTok is the discovery mechanism, but Spotify is trying to shift that behavior.”
The company unveiled two new ad products, along with expanded access to an existing one, that lets musicians and their promotional teams better market their music. Spotify also announced two new lines of business, artist merchandising and concert ticketing, that cater to two critical ways musicians generate revenue outside of streaming.
The suite of new releases comes at a critical juncture for Spotify, which in January laid off 6% of its global workforce, including its chief content officer Dawn Ostroff and pledged to evaluate its podcast strategy.
The new search feature will let people swipe through short videos, called Canvas clips, that the company designed specifically for music discovery, with options to save songs to a playlist, follow the artist or share it with friends.
Likewise, its redesigned home page will prominently feature short videos, created by musicians or auto-populated by Spotify, called previews. People can tap through the visual cards or click them to visit artists’ pages, whereas previews for podcasts and audiobooks will feature brief snippets of audio to entice listeners.
The company also unveiled a feature called Spotify Clips, a 30-second video that musicians can append to their artist pages. Artists can use the feature to share anything they want, such as additional context about a song, which allows them to connect with their listeners on a more intimate level, said Spotify vice president of personalization Ziad Sultan.