Spotify is a key player in shaping where the music industry is headed, director Sten Garmark stats that Spotify is transforming from a music app to being a platform, saying “We have to turn ourselves into the OS of music” (Dredge, 2012). Moving toward this goal has meant adapting and evolving features to be more intuitive and to add value for subscribers so that users continue to use the Spotify despite the competition.
Group 12 have listed the following recent modifications to demonstrate how Spotify are evolving into a service that users might use as their main source of music content:
Personalisation: Spotify personalisation uses data to monitor user listening behaviour to provide a better user experience by only recommending songs that best match the users listening habits.
- Your music: In April 2014 Spotify launched the “Your Music” tab, allowing users to organise their music by storing personalised playlists, favourite artists, albums and songs (Newman, 2014).
- Create playlists: Users can create playlists of music and save them in “Your Music”.
- Discover: In 2013 the discover feature was launched, it gives users personal recommendations based on previous listening behaviour, artists you follow and friends playlists (Rego and Rego, 2013)
Site Design: in early 2014 Spotify rolled out a new website design for the first time since the platforms launch in 2008. To create the new website design Spotify was influenced by user feedback indicating that they have the end-user in mind for their user experience design (Gizmodo.com.au, 2014). The new design has received 5 star review rating for usability; Techrader says of the new design
“The new look and the new features take what was already a brilliant service and add the level of polish and comprehensiveness to make it a five-star product. Your Music is the feature Spotify had been missing, and its flawless implementation and integration into the general experience has made things a lot better.” (Rivington, 2014)
Freemium: In 2011, Spotify added a premium subscription on the mobile experience, and placed limits on non paying users by adding time limits to how much music they can stream per month (listening caps) (Billboard, 2014). Putting the user at the centre meant Spotify needed to change its priorities by putting popularity ahead of revenue (Latticelabs.com, 2013), a move that Spotify has embraced with the December 2013 change to the “Free” subscription model which allowed unlimited streaming across all devices (Crook, 2014). However, the “freemium” model does not support offline listening and users are served adverts (Pcpro.co.uk, 2014).
Access: Spotify features are user focused, featuring over 20 million songs with an additional 20,000 songs listed per day. Music is accessible on multiple devices including mobile, desktop, and tablet. Users can download music so that listening to music is independent of having an internet connection (Spotify Press, 2013).
Giving users control: Spotify gives users the control over their Spotify music experience. Users can instantly access, sample and curate music without any sense of investment other than the user’s time. Allowing users to create playlists that they can download and listen to offline blurs the sense of ownership; this feature alone creates an attachment with the app (American Studies Media Culture Program (ASMCP), 2013).
Recognising Loyalty: In 2013 Spotify launched a reward program to recognise the most loyal users who help others in The Community Forum (Community.spotify.com, 2013).
Big Data: In 2014 Spotify acquired leading music data company, The Echo Nest. The partnership is strengthening Spotify’s ability to analyse music attributes such as tempo, pitch and culture to digitally catalogue music more accurately. This means that Spotify will be able to make improved recommendations by better understanding music fans and connecting them with more relevant music (Lamere, 2014).
With such so many similarities between top streaming platforms Spotify has to constantly revisit it’s features and evolve into a platform that users prefer (Condliffe, 2014).
Billboard,. (2014). A Timeline of Spotify’s Attempted Journey Toward Becoming the ‘OS of Music’. Retrieved 20 July 2014, from http://www.billboard.com/biz/articles/news/1098280/a-timeline-of-spotifys-attempted-journey-toward-becoming-the-os-of-music
Community.spotify.com, (2013). Introducing the Spotify Community Rock Star Program. [online] Available at: http://community.spotify.com/t5/Spotify-Announcements/Introducing-the-Spotify-Community-Rock-Star-Program/td-p/580948 [Accessed 01 June. 2014].
Condliffe, J. (2014). Spotify: We Want To Be the OS of Music. [online] Gizmodo. Available at: http://gizmodo.com/5891186/spotify-we-want-to-be-the-os-of-music [Accessed 21 Jul. 2014].
Crook, J. (2014). Spotify Goes Freemium On Tablets, Launches Free Shuffle Product On Smartphones | TechCrunch. TechCrunch. Retrieved 28 June 2014, from http://techcrunch.com/2013/12/11/spotify-launches-spotify-free-for-tablets/
Dredge, S. (2012). Spotify: ‘We have to turn ourselves into the OS of music’. the guardian. [online] Available at: http://”We have to turn ourselves into the OS of music,” [Accessed 26 Jul. 2014].
Gizmodo.com.au,. (2014). Spotify Goes Dark, Adds ‘Your Music’ Feature For Saving Tracks And Albums. Retrieved 26 July 2014, from http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2014/04/spotify-goes-dark-adds-your-music-collections/
Lamere, P. (2014). The Echo Nest Support & API Integration Help -. Airpair.com. Retrieved 16 July 2014, from http://www.airpair.com/echonest
Latticelabs.com,. (2013). Premium vs Freemium vs Subscription – Lattice Labs Blog. Retrieved 24 July 2014, from http://latticelabs.com/blog/2013/09/premium-freemium-subscription/
Newman, J. (2014). The Biggest Problem with Spotify Is Being Fixed Now. TIME.com. Retrieved 28 July 2014, from http://time.com/46634/the-biggest-problem-with-spotify-is-being-fixed-now/
Pcpro.co.uk,. (2014). Spotify unveils unlimited free online listening | News | PC Pro. Retrieved 28 June 2014, from http://www.pcpro.co.uk/news/386557/spotify-unveils-unlimited-free-online-listening
Rego, D. and Rego, D. (2013). Stuck for what to play next? Start Discovering.. [online] Spotify Blog. Available at: http://news.spotify.com/au/2013/05/29/stuck-for-what-to-play-next-start-discovering/ [Accessed 20 Jul. 2014].
Rivington, J. (2014). Spotify review. [online] TechRadar. Available at: http://www.techradar.com/reviews/pc-mac/software/utilities/other-software/spotify-526289/review [Accessed 20 Jul. 2014].
Spotify,. (2014). Spotify New Design. Retrieved from http://news.spotify.com/us/2014/04/08/mabuhayspotify/
Spotify Press,. (2013). Information. Retrieved 20 July 2014, from http://press.spotify.com/au/information/