Spotify Reveals New TikTok-Like Vertical Feed at Stream On
The new mobile homepage is a swipeable, video-based interactive feed that will automatically play previews of music, podcasts and audiobooks for users.
Spotify is launching a TikTok-like vertical-swiped homepage to its mobile app. Though Bloomberg leaked the news last week, the new homepage was officially unveiled by company executives at Spotify’s Stream On event Wednesday (March 8).
The new homepage — unveiled during the demonstration led by Spotify co-president/chief product officer/chief technology officer Gustav Soderstrom — will trade Spotify’s formerly static carousels of playlist and song recommendations in favor of a vertical, swipeable, video-based interactive feed which will automatically play previews of music, podcasts and audiobooks for users in hopes of helping them discover new content.
The top of the homepage will continue to boast a few quick links to help users instantly find their favorite podcasts, audiobooks and playlists.
“When I open my home screen, I won’t have to choose what I might be interested in just based on a cover art that I’ve never seen before, or an episode name I’ve never heard of,” said Soderstrom. “Instead, I can instantly hear the most interesting part of a song or an episode.”
The new video-centric feed, as well as other announcements at Stream On, represent a move away from positioning Spotify as a solely audio-focused company and toward creating a more audiovisual platform. As Spotify CEO Daniel Ek noted in his introduction, “In the past few years, people likely thought of Spotify as being the best destination for listening. But today, this evolution is really about bringing Spotify to life.”
Spotify has spent years trying to assert itself as the world leader in audio products, diversifying its offerings from music to exclusive podcasts, live audio and — most recently — audiobooks. But not all of these pushes have played out well for the company. At least six of its live audio programs, for example, were canceled after roughly a year.
The company began to offer more visuals in recent years to strong success, including adding video capabilities to some podcasts and its Canvas feature which lets artists showcase a looping video to accompany their songs. According to Spotify, songs that use Canvas are 145% more likely to get track shares, while listeners are 5% more likely to continue streaming them.
The Canvas feature will now play an even bigger role at Spotify, Soderstrom noted, as artists’ Canvases will now serve as the visual backdrop for audio previews on the app’s newly designed homepage.
The news of its more interactive, vertical homepage marks Spotify as the latest major tech company to seemingly take cues from TikTok. Instagram and YouTube have made pushes to popularize short-form, vertical video offerings on their sites in the last few years, while on the music side, apps like Discz, a swipeable music discovery service à la Tinder, have proven there’s an appetite for interactive music recommendations. SoundCloud followed suit this week as well, announcing a vertically-based Discover page that uses AI to power tailored recommendations.