COVID-19: Spotify introduces a group listening feature for its users

Khevna Pandit
Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Keeping in mind the social distancing norms, Spotify has come up with a group feature for its users in quarantine.

In the age of virtual parties and online performances, it is more than essential for social media platforms to up their game as well. Bringing in another cool feature amongst others, Spotify is planning to introduce a group feature that will permit two or more premium users to create a 'listening party'. 

Keeping in mind the new normal, the feature allows users to connect over a Spotify code, offer shared queue control, along with collaboration for the listening group. So, the next time you want to share the joy of an album release with your buddies during the lockdown, this feature lets you sit tight in your homes and yet have the party you deserve.

A shared affair 

To activate this feature on your Spotify account, you need to make sure you're a premium user. On clicking the 'host' button on the bottom-left corner of the play screen, the app will generate a scannable code that the guests can use to listen to the same songs together. They can make changes, including skip, play, pause and favourite songs -- which will be visible to every guest on the group. 

Participants of this group can also add and modify the contents, or make a playlist, according to their preferences. In a poll conducted on our social media, we found that about 79 per cent of people are excited about trying this feature, whereas 21 per cent find it 'pointless'. 

Charting trends

Spotify, who has been mapping it's consumer behaviour since the lockdown began, has noticed that users lately prefer to listen to 'chill' music, as compared to other genres. The songs are often instrumental, acoustic and less danceable. It also noticed an increase in the frequency of collaborative playlists, and that people had been more active in sharing their songs on social media. 

Another important trend noticed observed users preferring more podcasts and audiobooks to keep themselves (and their children) entertained during the lockdown. Health and wellness podcasts have been some of the most widely searched podcast topics since March, and users have been actively creating more workout playlists for themselves. In fact, the lockdown has also given way to upcoming chefs who have been looking out for recipes on Spotify! 

The study conducted by Spotify also finds that people are drawn towards live stream concerts of their favourite artists, in the absence of the physical concerts that were cancelled due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The group listening feature which was reportedly being tested in 2019 didn't come out until this year. However, still under scrutinisation, the feature hasn't rolled out for most of the users. Currently, in beta phase, Spotify Premium users will soon be able to enjoy the feature as soon as its programmers approve it. 

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