Spotify as a Social Platform
Music has long since been a social medium that has brought people together as a means of culture, storytelling, dancing, celebration and even mourning. At its heart, Music has always been social and todays platforms should recognize and reflect this.
Spotify in particular, is an incredibly easy and like-able service that empowers over 100 million music lovers to listen to and discover new music following one simple mission statement:
“Give people access to all the music they want all the time — in a completely legal & accessible way” — Spotify on Twitter
I want to explore Spotify expanding it’s current services to lean into social . It should be embracing the relationships and communities music can create. The app’s current connectivity to Facebook allows for a lot of flexibility and ease incorporating a lot of features including identifying friends and mutual music interests and in turn can help bring them together.
As music lovers we should all know the power of live music and the most overlooked feature of Spotify has to be the Concerts section. For users to get the value out of this service, Spotify needs to scratch the surface a little further and reveal what it’s fully capable of and bring friends, fans and artists together.
For this, I want to suggest two key additions:
Notifications should be a no brainer. When you open the app you should have alerts for new shows announced in your area by artists and bands in your listening history and music interests. Announcements should appear to the user both in the Concerts section and live banners.
– Friend Suggestions for Concerts
Not always needed - but always appreciated, Spotify will be able to show you friends that are already attending a nearby based on mutual music interests. It can also suggest friends who may be interested in the same event based on their music interests. This should then allow users to contact each other in-app as well as suggest and share the event with another friends with similar music interests.
This is one particular feature that I’m yet to see other music streaming services, nor Bandsintown/Songkick make use of. Instead this creates a common ground between Concert Listing Platforms and Music Streaming to create an inclusive listening environment. This is a real opportunity for Spotify to get ahead of the curve.
Musicians let the lyrics and music do the talking but it’s a medium to be felt, shared and enjoyed by friends, family and communities together and with this I’m also proposing that Spotify takes the lead in adding social features to its current Friend Feed.
The Friend Feed
The Friend Feed demonstrates Spotify’s recognition of music culture and communities, however the information goes largely overlooked as users don’t have a way to speak or acknowledge friends through it, instead the information can only be used to listen to your friends current track.
Spotify should be taking advantage of this and can do so with few additions to the current service and a redesign of the interface.
Firstly — by adding a ‘like’ button. This is for users to acknowledge in small, effortless ways that someone is both seeing, and enjoying your music taste. It’s a small tip of the hat that can start conversations.
Secondly — by allowing Friend Feed comments. These should appear minimized on the Friend Feed. In doing so allows Spotify to behave as it currently does, but allows for short and fast conversation around music and artists.
The Notifications Page is now a central location for your social interactions and song history. Concert information shared by friends will also appear in this section.
Spotify unlike other services has the opportunity to connect artists, fans and friends alike and with a few features, can reshape the way we communicate around music online and in person. As a service that already has this information within reach I think it’s important to both empower users and artists through connecting fans and friends. Music is social and it should be shared, encouraged and reflected in the platforms we use to access it.