Thursday, September 3, 2020

Patent filing: Spotify experimenting with TikTok-like user-generated videos | Music Ally

Spotify has filed a patent for a feature that would allow users to create “video moments” with accompanying music within the Spotify app, Digital Music News reports. The short videos, with high-quality embedded music, would be sharable outside of the app and would be discoverable alongside the song itself: so searching for a song could also reveal hundreds of TikTok-like fan videos.

It’s fair to say that patent filings don’t mean that a big change is coming: big tech companies file them all the time. But the patent might suggest that Spotify are taking the challenge of TikTok seriously, and might be an acknowledgment that TikTok is the current initiation point for excitement around an artist.

A feature like this would be a big shift in focus for Spotify, bringing music fans and users into the fold, and allowing them to interact with music and artists within the platform. It would also, of course have enormous marketing potential – imagine if Lil Nas X had blown up inside Spotify, instead of TikTok.

A big, well-established company emulating a cool upstart is fraught with hazards, as Facebook, who launched a TikTok-like service, Lasso, and then quietly shut it down again, will attest. But Spotify is so woven into artists’ and fans’ lives that a feature like this may have a chance – and, if yesterday’s Amazon Music-Twitch integration is anything to go by, fans are starting to ask for more functionality within their streaming apps.

Spotify has looked at a few ways to expand interaction around songs, such as the “Behind the Lyrics” integration with Genius, which allows cards of lyrics, photos and contextual information to pop up as songs play. But the platform has been relatively cautious about expanding the in-app experience, keeping audio-streaming at the core. Until, perhaps, now.

Joe Sparrow


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