Spotify is introducing a replacement feature, Group Session, which will allow two or more of its Premium users within the same space to share control over the music being played. Essentially a “party mode” of sorts, Group Session participants can control what’s playing in real time also as contribute to a collaborative playlist for the group.
The company notes that the feature are often used among quarantine-mates and families — groups that are now spending long hours reception together, where they now work, play, cook, dance and more with Spotify running within the background.
To use the feature, the “host” will tap the Connect menu within the bottom-left corner of their Play screen, then share with their “guests” the scannable code that appears. The guests then join the session by scanning the host’s code. Then, using Spotify’s built-in controls, they’re ready to pause, play, skip and choose tracks on the queue and add choices of their own to be played next. The changes any guest makes are immediately showed all participants’ devices.
Spotify already offers ways for groups to share their favorite music, but in additional limited ways. the corporate offers how to create Collaborative playlists with friends, where everyone can add, delete and reorder tracks. additionally , Spotify Premium Family plan members can hear a customized playlist called Family Mix that mixes the music that everybody enjoys.
However, neither of those options offer how to collaborate in real time, as Group Session does.
The Group Session feature has been in testing since last year, where it had been first uncovered by noted reverse engineer Jane Manchun Wong back in May 2019. Others had also reported seeing it appear on their own accounts later in August. meaning some users may have had the feature before today. However, it’s only now being made globally available to all or any Premium users.
At the time of its initial development, Spotify may have envisioned the feature as how to form its app go viral, as users would download Spotify so as to contribute to a celebration playlist — perhaps by scanning a code that appeared on the party host’s TV, for instance . But with the coronavirus pandemic limiting gatherings and other people isolating themselves reception , the corporate is instead positioning Group Session as how for families and housemates to entertain themselves.
By tying a feature like this to its Premium subscription, Spotify is hoping to encourage more of its free users to form the jump to its paid, music-on-demand streaming service. It’s an honest time for this type of push, too.
More people are staying reception thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, and are trying to find ways to be entertained. Streaming, particularly video, is up. And Spotify said during its April earnings it had been seeing double-digit increases over the past few weeks in listening around in-home activities, like cooking, chores, family time and more.
Today, Spotify says Group Session is launching into beta, meaning it’s still being tested and developed. It can employed by Premium account holders, including users who share an equivalent Spotify Premium Family account. The feature can support up to 100 users, but they need to be within the same physical space at this point .
The version launched yesterday is that the first iteration of the feature, and Spotify expects it’ll evolve over time because it learns more from user feedback. it’s going to even expand beyond people sharing an equivalent space within the future.
Group Session is rolling out today, so you’ll not see it just yet. The feature are going to be available to all or any Premium users worldwide when the rollout completes.