Spotify, playlists become collective: how social listening works

The Swedish streaming music service could allow to create "common" playlists, so as to strengthen the bonds between the various users

Spotify playlists become "social": the well-known streaming music listening service is in fact testing the new feature called "Social Listening", which allows people physically distant to listen to the same list of tracks and add others to the playlist.

The feature, discovered by famous leaker Jane Manchun Wong, is currently being tested among Spotify employees. With Social Listening Spotify could differentiate itself from the increasingly fierce competition, especially Apple Music and YouTube Music, but also broaden its user base and lengthen the average duration of the session of use of the app. Playlists have always been Spotify's strong point: they can be created and shared by ordinary users, DJs or musicians and, even today, they can also be "collaborative" if the playlist creator decides that other users can edit it.

How Spotify's Social Listening will work

If the feature will be released to the public without major changes compared to the current test version, then to listen to a track with friends on Spotify you'll have to perform a not very simple procedure. The first thing to do is to open a track and start listening to it, then you'll have to tap on a share button that will bring up a code. On a second phone, a friend's, you'll have to press the same button and then "Scan Code". With the camera you'll have to take a picture of the code and, immediately after, you'll be able to listen to the music together. The same functionality can also be activated by sharing the link of a playlist. Once the link has been created between the devices of the two friends, both users will be able to enrich the playlist with new tracks and listen to it even when they are physically far away. Of course, the process is also valid for three or more users/devices.

Online parties on Spotify?

Unlike normal collaborative playlists, which can be listened to asynchronously (i.e. at different times) by users, from what seems to emerge from the little information unearthed by Wong with Social Listening, all users will listen to the same playlist at the same time. It will be created, so, a much stronger link between users through music and, in theory, you can organize real online parties to which only the guests can participate, that will listen to all the same music at the same time and can change the playlist.