Introducing Social Listening: A Shared-Queue Experience on Spotify

Spotify continues to pioneer the way we enjoy music. Their latest innovation allows us to rock out together even when we’re apart. An unreleased prototype called “Social Listening” lets multiple people queue up songs everyone can listen to.

TechCrunch tipster Jane Manchun Wong discovered this code for the Android app. It’s only been available to Spotify employees and appears in the menu of connected devices. If a song is played near Wi-Fi and Bluetooth devices, the app will ask to “Connect with friends”.

How It Works

Scan one friend’s QR-style Spotify Social Listening code, and boom! Anyone can add songs to the real-time playlist. It is just a shared queue for now, there is no synchronized timing of listening. However, with our technology, anything is possible in the future.

This feature aims to expand the music streaming service’s growth by allowing users to gain this intimate experience of co-listening. Having already differentiated itself from Apple Music, YouTube Music, and Tidal, it has been one of my go to providers for music.

A help screen like the one below pops up and displays “Listen to music together.

1. On your phone, play a song and select (Connected Devices). You’ll see a code at the bottom of the screen.

2. On your friend’s phone, select the same (Connected Devices) icon, tap SCAN CODE, and point the camera at your code.

3. Now you can control the music together. You’ll see friends who are part of your Social Listening session listed in the menu. Share the URL with anyone else you want to jam with. It’s that simple!

Music is the Answer

Real time sharing means real user experience, and Spotify always tries to test new products and experiences. Before, we weren’t allowed to add to someone else’s playlist, but you could follow it and listen. Now, everyone gets to be the DJ and enjoy it at the same time.

Having stripped some vestigial features of its own, the music mogul is making room for an enhanced discovery through friends instead. This gives leverage over the many record label rate negotiations, where everyone in agreement will get a chance to be played. Those that do not play fair, will not.

Music is an inherently social experience. It physically touches us through its vibrations. When people listen at the same time, it creates the togetherness we feel at festivals. “Social Listening” could be a way to supplement that.

No further details have been released about its debut, but this is still exciting nonetheless What do you think of their latest feature?