6 Interesting Features That Spotify Is A/B Testing Right Now

Some of the most notable features that Spotify is currently testing.
Some of the most notable features that Spotify is currently testing.

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Spoiler: None of them is Hi-Fi.

Spotify still hasn’t mentioned anything about Hi-Fi. However, it’s currently exploring a range of beta features to enrich the user experience in unique ways. These tests include possible Dolby Atmos integration, music video options, and educational content, among others.

Here’s a look into what those new features might be:

1. Dolby Atmos Support

Dolby Atmos may come to Spotify soon. (From: Reddit)
Dolby Atmos may come to Spotify soon. (From: Reddit)

Spotify is possibly testing a Dolby Atmos feature, as indicated by Redditor u/Spotify_Support, who stumbled upon a Dolby Atmos icon while listening to music on his iPad.

The Dolby Atmos logo appeared while the user was listening to the latest Bleachers album and the new Vampire Weekend single.

He noted that it only appeared in full-screen mode and not across all songs.

Despite the visible icon, the OP reported no changes in audio quality while using his AirPods Pro 2. Checking the volume slider in the iPad’s Control Center did not show any audio enhancements either.

2. Full-Length Music Videos

Spotify is testing full-length music videos. (From: Spotify)
Spotify is testing full-length music videos. (From: Spotify)

Full-length music videos are undergoing trials for Premium users in 11 countries: the UK, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, Brazil, Colombia, Philippines, Indonesia, and Kenya.

This beta feature can be accessed from the Now Playing screen for select tracks, like those from Ed Sheeran, Doja Cat, Ice Spice, Aluna, and Asake.

Users can switch from audio to music videos on certain songs via a “Switch to Video” button and rotate their device to play the music video fullscreen.

The feature is available on desktop and TV devices too.

This feature is similar to what YouTube Music has, suggesting potential competition between the two platforms.

According to Spotify, this is part of its broader strategy to diversify its content offerings and engage users in new ways.

“Music videos play a key role in hooking you: taking you from being a listener to leaning in and becoming a fan. They’re an important part of so many artists’ toolkits,” said Charlie Hellman, Vice President and Head of Music Product at Spotify.

3. Educational Courses

Spotify is doing educational course trials in the UK. (From: Spotify)
Spotify is doing educational course trials in the UK. (From: Spotify)

Spotify is trialing an educational video feature for U.K. residents, as an attempt to expand their portfolio with e-learning.

Free and Premium subscribers can access courses from Thinkific, BBC Maestro, SkillShare, and PLAYvirtuoso. These cover four learning categories: get creative, make music, healthy living, and learn business.

The first two lessons of each course are free, but users will need to purchase the remaining lessons to continue their learning journey. To pay for the courses in the U.K., Apple users can go to the company’s website, while Android users will receive an email with a payment link to avoid in-app transactions.

Users can also pay for the courses by heading to Spotify’s course section on its website. There, they can log in to their account and browse classes to purchase.

Prices for each course range from £24.90 to £239.99 ($31.41 to $302.73), but users can sample two lessons for free.

“At Spotify, we’re constantly striving to create new offerings for our creators and users, and having built best-in-class personalized music and podcast offerings, we look forward to exploring the potential of video-based learning on Spotify,” said Babar Zafar, VP Product Development at Spotify.

4. Monthly Listening Stats

Some of Sound Capsule features, as shared by Spotify users. (From: Reddit)
Some of Sound Capsule features, as shared by Spotify users. (From: Reddit)

The new feature, dubbed as ‘My Sound Capsule’, will give users monthly insights into their listening habits. This includes their most-streamed artists, songs, albums, and total minutes spent on the platform – sort of like a monthly Spotify Wrapped.

The feature will allow users to track changes in their music tastes and habits over time. It offers a more detailed look at their streaming history compared to the annual Spotify Wrapped.

Users have reported that they can access it on their mobile app by clicking on their profile icon > What’s New > My Sound Capsule.

Spotify hasn’t officially announced the feature yet. But user reports claim it could launch for users across the app’s mobile and desktop platforms sometime in the coming months.

5. Making Personalized Recommendations Optional

How Spotify's personalized music recommendations work. (From: Spotify)
How Spotify’s personalized music recommendations work. (From: Spotify)

Spotify is also beta testing a feature that would allow users to opt out of personalized recommendations, according to Macrumors.

This would let listeners avoid having their recommendations influenced by what others play on their account. It gives users more control over their music discovery experience.

Spotify’s recommendations are based on factors like listening history and favorite genres It analyzes listening history, favorite genres, and the time of day that users listen to music.

Spotify also uses collaborative filtering, which suggests songs that people with similar tastes like. It takes into account characteristics like time signature, key, and tempo to recommend new songs with similar characteristics.

However, collaborative filtering can result in an “echo chamber” effect. It recommends more popular items more often than lesser-known songs. This can make the music experience feel repetitive, especially for new users.

The rollout of this opt-out feature is yet to be announced as Spotify continues to gather feedback to improve its service. It’s also uncertain whether the trial is region-specific.

6. Lyrics Exclusivity for Premium Users

The lyrics feature may become a Premium-only feature.
The lyrics feature may become a Premium-only feature.

Spotify is testing a new approach to encourage its free-tier users to switch to Premium by making the lyrics feature exclusive to paying subscribers. This change, now in the trial phase, has led some free users to encounter a message prompting them to subscribe to Premium to access lyrics.

Spotify’s PR executive, CJ Stanley, confirmed the test. However, he followed up by saying, “We don’t have any further news to share at this time.”

The beta feature received backlash from Spotify users on online forums, with one user saying the service would achieve nothing by doing this.

“This is not a good step at all. The functionality and features on the app are all getting barred behind a paywall, worse that features that have been free are also now getting turned into paid only features.” said ch3trii on the Spotify Community.

Spotify is achieving nothing by this, and most certainly not getting new Spotify premium subscribers, but is instead losing faith of free users like me.”

The feature is currently limited to a select group of users in specific markets, and the outcome of this trial is yet to be decided.

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