Spotify’s Refusal to Mitigate Content Will Quickly Turn Into a Nightmare
Last October, 5 months after Spotify acquired Joe Rogan’s podcast, numerous employees protested the transphobic nature of the ad. There was even more controversy after Rogan hosted an episode with Alex Jones, whose InfoWars podcast was banned via Facebook and Apple.
Spotify has, by and large, shrugged off questions about the content of the podcasts – until now.
In an interview with Axios, CEO Daniel Ek said the company does not exercise editorial control over its creators:
We also have a lot of really well-paid rappers on Spotify who make tens of thousands of dollars, if not more, every year on Spotify. And we do not dictate how they install their songs either.
It’s extraordinary that Spotify allows creators to express themselves freely, but it will have to face up to it at some point.
Platforms can not just forget about moderating the content they host. In fact, in cases like Alex Jones, it could come down to an outright ban.
But the problem is more far-reaching than that: Spotify definitely does not have the potential to expand its moderation efforts at the moment.
Moderating what people listen to is much harder than it sounds – no pun intended.
Ashley Carmen of The Verge has already addressed this issue at length. The project becomes even more difficult when you consider that more than 17,000 new proposals will be published every week in 2020, according to podcast advertising organization Chartable.
How are you supposed to accommodate that amount of content? Well, you’ll need a large team of people and superior and scaled AI, especially if you want to get it done quickly. To say that this is a huge project is an understatement.
For Spotify, this query is not limited to tracks and podcasts. Last month, Spotify released its own Clubhouse competitor called Greenroom for audio conversations.
It has moderation and reporting tools, but real-time audio systems have struggled to manage these chats in any way.
The reality of the problem is this: Spotify can not forget forever that it’s a platform. It has an obligation to review content. The sooner it knows and accepts that, the less painful it will be when it eventually takes action.
Spotify Rates Super-Cheap Subscription Plans that Come with some Benefits – but Still Include Ads
Spotify is testing a cheaper subscription plan that gives customers more control over their music, but still includes ads.
The plan, dubbed Spotify Plus, was first revealed by The Verge. The streaming company announced the trial in a statement:
We are constantly working to beautify the Spotify experience, and we regularly conduct reviews to inform our decisions. We are currently testing an ad-supported subscription with a limited number of our customers.
Users have noticed that the subscription is being offered at a price of just $0.99 per month – a tenth of the $9.99 per month price for Spotify Premium – but the company says the service is being offered at different prices as part of the test. Spotify also stressed that there’s no way the service will be fully released.
Still, the test seems to be focused on streamers with small budgets. The basic benefits they get are unlimited skipping of tracks and the freedom to play any track they want.
This is a considerable improvement compared to Spotify, where the number of skipped tracks is limited to 6 per hour and where you can mainly watch out for mixed tracks and tracks from specific playlists.
However, the retention of ads is a major drawback. But Spotify Plus can be a compelling alternative for people who need a larger collection of tracks and additional management, but do not want to spend on Premium.
Spotify Now Notifies You About New Releases Instantly
When the first track streaming apps launched in India, Rdio (RIP) was my biggest wish because it offered a list of new releases with more than one philter. This way I could keep up to date with new albums from artists I liked.
Now Spotify is introducing a similar feature that lets you keep track of all the new releases from your favorite artists. This feature, called What’s New, is available via a bell icon on your home screen.
When there’s new content for your What’s New feed, you’ll see a blue dot at the top of the bell icon.
When you click the bell icon, you’ll see a real-time feed of new content from musicians and podcasts you follow. You can also easily philter the new releases by podcasts or titles.
I usually scroll over Wikipedia to check for new albums, Or visit sites like Pitchfork to check if an artist I like has something new out.
But Spotify’s What’s New feed will make my life easier. All I need now is a feature that lets me check out new albums that are being released that week.
This new feature will be rolling out globally to all customers on iOS and Android in the coming weeks.
When the iPod launched in 2001, it changed the way we enjoyed our favorite music as we walked by. And while there were plenty of other MP3 players on the market at the time, none came close to Apple’s incredibly intuitive control wheel.
If you have missed out on trying it out, or if you are definitely skipping your beloved iPod, make sure you bookmark this one for your mobile browser.
Front-end developer Tanner Villarete’s smart introduction resembles the sixth-era iPod Classic from 2007 (the same one I had and loved, by the way), and works similarly to the actual device – except it really works with your Spotify and Apple Music libraries!
It may look like a React project mimicking hardware from over a decade ago, but UI’s response to turning the contact wheel and tapping the center button, as well as flipping through albums in Cover Flow (see above), bring back fond memories. Oh, and there’s even a Breakout-style game you can play.