At a recent streaming event in Los Angeles, among other changes, Spotify announced they would be introducing vertical content.
Spotify is set to announce new features at its Stream On event in Los Angeles next month. Among the new features is a vertically swiped homepage that allows users to swipe through content recommendations that play automatically, similar to TikTok’s functionality.
Spotify says the feature aims to improve discovery and attract a younger demographic to the platform. It unites the platform’s various verticals – music, podcasts, and audiobooks – in one place, according to Spotify’s Co-President and Chief Product and Technology Officer, Gustav Söderström.
The move comes as Spotify attempts to capture some of the engagement TikTok has seen, ensuring listeners are thrown into content right when they open the app. It could also be a play for younger users, given that a minority of free Spotify users are considered Gen Z.
The company says that one in three of its users is between the ages of 18 and 24. Spotify’s interest in this demographic is evident in its recent deals, including its signing of YouTuber Emma Chamberlain as an exclusive podcaster and its agreement with a Swedish comedy podcast trio for a show that targets the younger Gen Z audience.
Spotify’s move comes at a time when competitors are pouring money into podcasts, which Spotify has delved into as well.
YouTube has been more aggressively expanding into the format, signing a deal with Freakonomics Radio Network to bring its programming to the platform. Meanwhile, ByteDance, the company behind TikTok, has signed deals with podcast companies to bring shows to its music streaming service Resso.
Spotify’s vertically swiped homepage is an attempt to unify the platform’s various verticals, improve discovery, and attract a younger demographic to the platform. Spotify’s interest in this demographic is evident in its recent deals, but the company faces competition from other platforms like YouTube and TikTok, which are also pouring money into podcasts.
It remains to be seen whether the vertically swiped homepage will be a success, but it is a sign that Spotify is making efforts to appeal to a younger audience.