What To Expect From Tuesday’s Spotify Announcement
UPDATED: Spotify is holding held a press event this morning at the Gramercy Theater in New York City that featured three key executives. Here's what Spotify announced Tuesday and what it means for musicians and labels.
Tuesday's Spotify press event will feature chief R&D officer Gustav Söderström, VP of Product Development Babar Zafar and Troy Carter, Global Head of Creator Services, according to an invitation to the event.
Based on insider knowledge, leaks and rumors, here is our prediction, in order of likelihood, of what we think Spotify will announce today, Tuesday April 24:
1) App Updates That Offer An Improved Mobile Spotify Free Tier - The music streamer is reported to be developing a new version of its free music service which will include some form of mobile listening. Spotify sees its free ad supported tier as critical to attracting new users, many of which go on to pay for Premium service. With more music being consumed on mobile, this is a logical step. But labels and artists will only be on board if it really does drive more conversions.[
Music Ally spotted this test in the UK: "It offered 750 on-demand tracks in 15 constantly changing playlists” in the words of one test-listener… Playlists with blue shuffle symbol are still subject to shuffle restriction, but Spotify makes available a lot of its own curated playlists on a fully on-demand basis.”
2) Voice control – We know the music streamer is working on voice control for its app; and unless it wants to be left behind, now is the time to launch.
3) More For Artists – This was just an educated guest, until Troy Carter, Global Head of Creator Services, was added to the speaker's list. CEO Daniel Ek recently promised to help grow the careers of a million musicians with help from its algorithms and Spotify For Artists tools and analytics. Carter will likely be on stage furthering that message.
4) More Exclusives – For all of Ek's pronouncements that exclusives hurt artists and frustrate fans, Spotify has been ramping up its one of a kind offerings with content like a new Taylor Swift exclusive video and acoustic cover tracks, as well as, more Spotify produced podcasts. Expect more of the same on April 24th
5) Spotify is anxious to unveil its first device, ahead of Facebook and others. Multiple sources and job postings point to a voice activated in-car music controller or perhaps even a stand alone car player. Some Spotify users even report getting a pre-order offers – perhaps in error – for the device.
"I just got a notice when I opened Spotify, that a special offer was available to me," wrote a user on Reddit who received the offer, "an official Spotify Car Player that had 4g built in and would just sit on your dash and be independent of your phone. $12.99/mo for a "total commitment of $155, with device included in price." Which to me suggests that Premium service would be included."
Clicking on the link took him to an error page, likely posted by mistake.
6) Hi Def Streaming – This one is a longshot, since we've heard nothing about in recent months is an option to stream in some hi-definition audio format at a higher monthly price. We know they've tested it, so wouldn't it be smart to tell rightsholders that they are going to be paid more per stream for hi-def at the same time you're expanding lower paying free streams to mobile?