Spotify is trying to ask users to save audio reactions to music playlists

News articles have comments, YouTube has reaction videos, and now a new test from Spotify sees the streaming service experimenting with audio reactions for music playlists. The experience was revealed thanks to a Vietnam-based Reddit user who posted screenshots of the reaction prompt.

“So, what do you think?” the interface reads. “Record an episode to share your thoughts on the playlist.” Below the prompt, there’s a green-colored record button to start recording audio, which, it seems, will then be uploaded as a podcast episode to the service. There are also simple editing options, such as the ability to add background music and tags. The react feature appears to be accessible via a microphone icon on the playlist page.

The company confirmed the test in a statement given to Tech Crunch. “At Spotify, we are always looking for ways to improve our users’ experience on our platform, and we regularly test features that we believe will bring value to listeners and creators,” the statement read. “We are currently conducting a limited test of in-app audio creation, but have no further details to share at this time.” It’s unclear to what extent this new test has been rolled out, and the company did not immediately respond to The edge request for comment.

The feature is accessible from a microphone icon on the playlist page.
Image: u/Mortical219/Reddit

User engagement is a fundamental part of the online experience for many services, encouraging users to join the conversation after reading an article or watching a video. And in recent years, reaction features such as TikTok’s Duos have become the core of the service offering. Spotify’s test appears to be an attempt to bring similar social elements to music playlists and hopefully benefit from the resulting increase in user engagement.

The test finding comes just over a month after Spotify was spotted experimenting with allowing users to record and publish podcasts directly from the app, dramatically lowering the barrier to entry for potential audio creators. At the time, Spotify made the feature available to a small number of users in the United States and New Zealand.

Compared to asking users to record full podcasts in the Spotify app, simple audio reactions arguably make a lot more sense. Users have come to expect high production values ​​from podcasts – the result of professional equipment and clever editing – that a mobile app like Spotify might struggle to replicate. But the bar for short audio reactions could be much lower (as it is for TikTok Duets), and users might be more willing to listen to clips recorded with a phone’s microphone.

However, it should be noted that Spotify often experiments with new features that get limited public releases but never officially launch. In recent months, we’ve seen the platform test everything from TikTok-style discovery feeds to NFT galleries for musicians. And more than a year after giving its lossless streaming tier a flashy launch event, the company has yet to make Spotify HiFi available to customers.


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