Spotify is gearing up to launch what it’s billing as the “biggest evolution” of the popular music streaming app to date.
Announced this week at its Stream On event and launching in the coming months, its 500 million users will see their home screens get a major makeover that founder Daniel Ek says will see the platform “come alive,” offering Diverse content – from video to audiobooks.
But it didn’t take long for observers to point out that the new look wasn’t particularly new at all.Quite the contrary, given that it’s trying to be an all-encompassing concern, it now looks like Tik TokYouTube and instagram Being piled in a blender, smothered on a phone screen with nowhere to go.
Open spotify music Once the makeover is complete, your home screen can autoplay video podcasts you might like; tapping the Music or Podcasts section will bring up a vertically scrolling feed of content, eager to entice you to try new things and keep you “engaged.”
Remember when it just wanted to play music?
“Spotify had to get back to the core of its brand — putting sound first,” says Grace Bilney of creative agency Redhouse.
“The new design is confusing and image-driven. It sends the wrong message.”
This is a common comment from many who watched the Stream On event.
Tommy Danvers, a music producer who has worked with artists including Kylie Minogue, Janet Jackson and Tom Jones, believes that trying to echo a TikTok-style user experience is a mistake.
“It doesn’t make sense to me to try to compete on a different level when you already have an app that’s dominant in a particular space, like Spotify,” he said.
“To muddy the waters is to take something away from the experience.”
Constant changes for your favorite apps
To be fair, Spotify is far from alone in terms of apps trying to reinvent themselves.
That’s why Instagram, once solely focused on photos, took its Stories feature from Snapchat and turned to short videos just as TikTok took off. YouTube is doing the same by launching Shorts in 2021 — another endless vertical video stream you might like.
TikTok is more than a trendsetter, as it joined Facebook last year in naming the novel “one picture a day” approach taken by upstart app BeReal “TikTok Now.”
So why are so many apps so eager to adopt the same functionality and aesthetics?
Will Amazon one day be an endless treadmill of algorithmically-generated purchase suggestions?
Is Microsoft Teams just going to turn into a vertical feed of meetings it thinks you might like to join? To be fair, there’s probably no better way to bring the annoying Clippy mascot back to life.
Bilney said this is all an attempt by tech companies to capitalize on the success of “micro-attention apps” that keep users mesmerized by throwing a lot of content away from them in a short amount of time.
and should Calls grow for TikTok to be banned over privacy concerns With results, it might seem like a no-brainer if Instagram, YouTube, or Spotify has laid the groundwork to capture some of their user base.
“These platforms are about attention”
“They took a huge opportunity,” Danvers said of Spotify’s redesign, which he sees as another sign of changing attitudes to music since streaming took hold.
“In the past 10 to 15 years, the value of music has been sucked away – everyone wants music, but no one wants to pay for it, they are happy to watch it for free on YouTube or get a free tier on Spotify.
“And now we’re in the middle of a subscription war amidst a cost of living crisis. Maybe a few years ago you’d be happy to have some of these, but now people are thinking ‘do I really need all of this?’
“At the end of the day, all these platforms are about attention — can I keep your attention as long as possible?”
The bosses at Spotify seemed to admit as much when they unveiled their new-look app.
Company co-president Gustav Soderstrom noted of the redesign that today’s world “pulls us in a million different directions.”
More and more, many of the apps we use seem determined to do the same.