In 2008, Spotify changed the way we listen to music when it launched with millions of tracks and podcast titles on its free and premium versions. According to its website, Spotify is a “digital music, podcast and video service that gives you access to millions of songs and other content from creators around the world.” As the most popular audio streaming in the world, today it enjoys a powerful community of 406 million global listeners in 184 markets.
The creators of the app have achieved this feat by constantly improving the experiences of creators and users by introducing new features and improving its tools and interface. For example, 2021 saw new features such as video podcasts, Q&As and polls, shared playlists called Blend, and the voice-activated Hey Spotify in-app experience.
Plus, with curated playlists like RapCaviar, featuring star rappers, and Discover Weekly, listing fresh music every Monday, the audio streaming app competes to create personalized playlists for its users. .
With innovations like these, Spotify is giving listeners new ways to interact with music and podcasts.
Here are the new Spotify updates introduced in 2022
Introducing Call-to-Action Cards
In January 2022, Spotify introduced a new advertising format called “Call-to-Action Cards” which focuses on podcast listeners. Backed by its streaming ad insertion technology, the feature will display visual ads when the audio ad starts playing. Additionally, users will be able to see these advertisements while exploring the app.
With this feature, advertisers can use eye-catching images, customizable text, and clickable buttons like “Buy Now” in these ads. Meanwhile, the streaming ad insertion feature allows the visual ad to appear on screen along with what users are listening to, making podcast ads interactive. It also helps listeners easily remember the brand, product or service they may have heard about earlier while listening to their favorite podcasts.
Call-to-Action Cards are available to US advertisers on Spotify Original and Exclusive Podcasts.
Icons get a makeover
A brand’s typography plays a major role when it comes to its brand value and recall. Keeping that in mind, Spotify rolled out a refreshed look for its icons after six years of its major overhaul in 2016.
Once again, the Encore Foundation app design systems team has teamed up with iconographer Rob Bartlett to create a new set of icons. The new icons will have bolder strokes to improve readability. This means that the stroke weight has been increased and made thicker.
Spotify has opted for two icon sizes – 16px and 24px, which will have stroke sizes of 1.5px and 2px, respectively. In doing so, the audio streaming app has further simplified its icon system. All other icon sizes will conform to these to align with Spotify’s current typography.
The changes have already been implemented on mobile and desktop apps and will gradually be seen on Spotify’s other platforms (and devices) throughout this year.
Billing at the user’s choice
With just a few clicks on any app store, we can download various apps that entertain, inspire, and help us stay in touch with others. Digital distribution platforms, such as Google Play Store, act as a one-stop shop for downloading complementary and free applications for our use.
Thus, Android users who have downloaded the Spotify app from the Google Play Store will have the option to pay for the app’s premium subscription services with Spotify’s payment system or with Google Play Billing.
Considered a first, the two options will be available side-by-side in the app, allowing consumers to purchase using either payment option. The first version of “User Choice Billing” is expected to be released later this year.
Through this multi-year partnership with Google, Spotify aims to improve consumer experiences for premium users and “allow developers to grow and thrive”.
Spotify launched “Blend” in 2021. It’s described as a “shared playlist that combines the best of Spotify’s customization capabilities and collaborative playlist functionality into a single shared playlist, allowing users to users to easily access a listening session designed just for them” by Spotify.
In March 2022, the audio streaming service introduced two new updates to Blend. While the first allowed users to “blend in” with up to 10 of their favorite people in a group, the second update allowed them to do so with some of their favorite artists. Both will be updated daily for both free and premium users.
To use this feature, you need to search for Blend in the app and then send invites. Once your invitations are accepted, Spotify will generate songs and recommendations in your Blend playlist based on the preferences of all users in the group. You can even share the collaborative playlist on social media via a personalized sharing card received through Spotify.
On the other hand, fans of BTS, Charli XCX, Lauv, Megan Thee Stallion, Tai Verdes, Xamã, Camilo, Diplo, Angèle, Badshah, Kim Loaiza, CRO, Benjamin Ingrosso and other musicians just have to click the link in their names, and Spotify will merge the artists’ music preferences with your playlist. This will help you “meld” with these artists and discover their creative influences.
Featured Curators and Spotify HiFi
Spotify is always full of creative and original content to provide the best audio experience to its users. But now Spotify is looking at playlists created by its users and influencers.
Throughout April, Spotify will test the Featured Curators pilot which will highlight existing popular user playlists on the platform as well as playlists created by Spotify.
Although this feature is available for some curators, who have established popular followings and playlists on the recommended app and its homepage, it will be updated throughout the test period.
During Spotify’s virtual “Stream On” event in February 2021, the company announced that Spotify HiFi would be rolling out to its users later that year. However, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek, when releasing its quarterly and annual results in February 2022, hinted at a further delay in the HiFi subscription level due to licensing issues.
Whenever the feature is released for users, we hope it follows Apple Music’s upgrade to spatial audio and lossless music offerings.
Hero and Featured Image: Courtesy of Spotify