Spotify’s tests new TikTok style video feature ‘Discover’
Spotify is testing a new TikTok style short video feed designed to encourage music discovery.
A new feature currently in testing at Spotify combines the fun of watching music videos with a TikTok-like content feed, but it’s only the beginning of the company’s plans for the future.
At least three generations of people have been born since the phrase “I want my MTV” was commonplace in the cultural lexicon. Still, in spite of the channel’s changing programming, music videos continue to thrive online. People love watching video content set to music, and Spotify is currently testing a new feature the looks to bring the fun of TikTok’s For You Page to the music stream platform in the near future.
As we reported earlier this week, Spotify has confirmed it’s currently testing a new feature in its app, Discover. It presents a vertical feed of music videos that users can scroll through and optionally like or skip. For those who have access to the feature, it appears as a fourth tab in the navigation bar at the bottom of the Spotify app, between Home and Search.
The existence of the Discover feature was first spotted by Twitter user Chris Messina, who also shared photos and videos of the new offering.
Messina told TechCrunch he found the feature in Spotify’s TestFlight build (a beta version for iOS). A new icon in the navigation toolbar immediately brings you to the video feed when tapped. You can then swipe up and down to move through the feed like you would on TikTok. In addition to tapping the heart to like songs, you also can tap the three-dot menu to bring up the standard song information sheet, he notes.
First introduced in 2019, Canvas allows artists to add looping video clips to their music. The footage appears vertically while the song plays and can be up to 8 seconds in length. Spotify has claimed in the past that songs using Canvas have a higher engagement rate.
As a first step towards a complete embrace of video on its platform, Discover seems like a smart move for Spotify. By utilizing the existing database of Canvas clips to explore engagement opportunities and encourage more artists to add even more content to the platform, Spotify is poised to develop video features built with listener interest in mind faster than any of its competitors. The long-term plan remains unclear, but the company could eventually allow full-length videos and become something akin to a modern MTV — in addition to being the global leader in music streaming.
TechCrunch asked Spotify for further information on the feature, including whether it had plans to roll this out further, whether it was available on both iOS and Android, which markets had access to the feature, and more. The company declined to share any details about the feature but did confirm that it was exploring the idea of a vertical video feed via a statement.
James Shotwell is the Director of Customer Engagement at Haulix and host of the company’s podcast, Inside Music. He is also a public speaker known for promoting careers in the entertainment industry, as well as an entertainment journalist with over a decade of experience. His bylines include Rolling Stone, Alternative Press, Substream Magazine, Nu Sound, and Under The Gun Review, among other popular outlets.