This morning at 11 a.m., Spotify held an exclusive event in New York, which was simulcast on their Periscope app. We watched the whole thing so you wouldn't have to, and so we could tell you all the juicy details of what's to come. It was an hour-long, star-studded affair, with appearances by Ilana and Abbi of Broad City, Tiesto, and a performance by D'Angelo and ?uestlove to cap it off.
There are some pretty cool changes coming to everyone's favorite streaming service. We hope you like running.
The event followed the now standard tech keynote format: Spotify's CEO Daniel Ek took the stage, earnestly addressing the audience. He talked about how Spotify's new direction is going to be focused on the distinct goals: improving user discovery of new music, providing new and original content on the service, and new innovation beyond conventional formats, along with finding new ways to integrate music into users' lives.
Another Spotify Exec, Rochelle King, took the stage next, and showed the audience how the new service fits into your day-to-day life. Essentially, Spotify's playlists are going to become more like a Pandora mix, using algorithms to find the best tracks for you at any given point of the day based on stored data about your preferences.
Two of the biggest announcements: Spotify is adding podcasts and streaming video to its repertoire of media goodness. You'll be able to flip between streaming playlists to podcasts to video seamlessly within the app on your phone.
New content partnerships announced included Disney, Viacom, Vice, Nerdist, Epic, TED, and more. New content specifically for Spotify was mentioned, but no concrete examples were provided. More artist collaborations on original video content, along with the already present music playlists, are also to be a centerpiece of the new Spotify experience.
The craziest part of the presentation came with Chief Product Officer Gustav Söderström. He announced a new technology specifically for runners. This new aspect of the program seems to be the most innovative: once opened, the app will detect your pace and match a song within your specialized preferences to your pace. As you speed up or slow down, the app compensates, so you'll always be running along to the music. Specially composed running songs by notable artists, starting with Tiesto, are also part of the new running experience.
The new Spotify will be rolled out in the U.S., U.K., Germany, and Sweden to start, beginning today, with more countries joining the fold as time goes on. No information about new membership tiers for pricing was provided, so we'll look forward to all of that info in the coming days.
For now, it looks like a new age of Spotify is dawning. And it has video.
Brett Williams is an editorial assistant at Supercompressor.