Spotify Announces Run Tempo Song Matching, Video, Podcasts And More…

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Early Wednesday morning, Spotify live streamed their press conference via Twitter’s new live stream app Periscope. I tuned in just as Spotify’s CEO Daniel Ek took the stage. Just 2,000 other Periscopers caught the live stream which lasted just under an hour before it mysteriously ended mid sentence. “And now we have a special treat…” exclaimed Mr. Ek before the feed got cut. Maybe they had a musical act who didn’t want to be live streamed or maybe they have the same technicians running the live stream as Hooli’s Nucleus.

It was odd Spotify chose to broadcast from a phone via Periscope. Couldn’t they have teamed up with Periscope to create a professional looking stream and not made it seem like this was shot by one of Mitt Romney’s caterers?

Some commenters watching noted they miss Apple’s keynotes. It’s odd Spotify didn’t have a high quality live stream available on the web.

Either way, Spotify announced some exciting new features. Some already rumored and some quite innovative.

Running

The most impressive (creepy?) new feature is Spotify’s ability to detect the pace and tempo of your run and match it with the perfect song. Chief Product Officer, Gustav Söderström, explained that smart phones already have sensors that capture this information and Spotify is able to read it, interpret it to beats per minute (BPM) and find a song that matches your run tempo, “in about 5 seconds.”

Spotify is teaming up with artists to create an entirely new format of music that will change to fit your pace. Söderström said “we’re not trying to slip bpm stretching past you.” The composition itself will magically rearrange to fit your pace. “You will have a very different experience every time you want to go for a run” he mentioned.

Tiesto hopped on stage as one of the creators making this new format of music and discussed why he jumped at this opportunity. He said that a lot of his fans like to work out to his music but that most of his songs are at 128bpms (too slow to run to). He rearranged some of his music and has created many of his songs at 160 bpm (perfect run tempo).

A bit easier for electronic artists to speed up or slow down (and slightly rearrange) their tracks, than, say a rock band who would actually need to record the song at multiple tempos. I don’t see this catching on.

Now Start Page

Spotify will grab your location and based on what kinds of music you normally listen to at that time and location (work, waking up, dinner time, etc) Spotify will recommend a playlist based on your music collection along with some suggestions. Over time Spotify learns what you like and what you do and will adjust and customize the playlists.

Video, Podcasts, News

Instead of having to leave the Spotify app and go to your Podcast, NPR or YouTube apps, Spotify is integrating video, podcasts and news directly within Spotify.

Entertainment

They spent a solid 3 minutes showing a clip from Comedy Central’s Broad City to introduce the kind of content you can now watch on Spotify (and then the Broad City ladies came out for a disjointed stand-up style schtick where they got way too excited for this 8AM techie crowd). Spotify has teamed up with Comedy Central, NBC, ABC, MTV, Vice, BBC, Condé Nest Entertainment, Maker Studios, Ted, Nerdist shows and others.

Original Content

There will be exclusive original video and audio content within Spotify like Amy Poehler’s Dance Move of the Day, curated radio shows by Icona Pop, Tyler the Creator and Jungle, “A Full English” which will be a conversation between artists and personalities over breakfast, “Incoming” a weekly audio show hosted by Joe Levy discussing new music. “Guest List” a (video) show interviewing stars about their favorite music. “Turntable” which brings chefs and musicians together for a performance and a meal, “The Drop” where artists tell how their new album came to life, “Spotify Sessions” which Spotify explains as “intimate performances from the hottest new artists to living legends,” and “Landmark” which is an aural history of some of the “greatest records ever released, told by the legends who helped create them.”

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The timing of this press conference comes just weeks before Apple officially announces their new streaming platform, Apple Music, and shortly after Jay Z’s Tidal launch. Spotify is hoping to stay three steps ahead on the streaming front.

+What Jay Z And Tidal Need To Do To Truly Change The Music Industry

It’s a little disappointing that Spotify has decided to branch out into new media before mastering music. There are still no lyrics or track credits on mobile. And the highest streaming resolution still remains at 320kbps (while the default sits at an abysmal 96kbps – which most don’t even realize they can change).

+Apple, Spotify and Tidal All Miss The Point. This Is The Future Of Recorded Music

Gustav Söderström (when introducing the running feature) protested “The music player still looks like it did 15 years ago. Surely there must be some innovation that could happen in music based on the insane technological progress.” Exactly.

Ari Herstand is a Los Angeles based singer/songwriter and the creator of the music biz advice blog, Ari’s Take. Follow him on Twitter: @aristake

6 Responses

  1. Anonymous

    “Spotify’s CEO Daniel Ek took the stage”

    Probably for the last time — this won’t be forgotten anytime soon:

    “The clause states that gross revenue includes “actual out-of-pocket costs paid to unaffiliated third parties for ad sales commissions (subject to a maximum overall deduction of 15 percent “off the top” of such advertising revenues).” In English, that means that Spotify can keep up to 15 percent of all advertising revenues generated by the ad sales that are handled by third parties hired by the streaming service.

    SOURCE: The Verge

    Reply
    • VoiceOfReason

      What on earth are you (and The Verge) talking about? I looked at the contract and it seems clear that the section quoted merely confirms that the labels wont expect Spotify to share any part of the gross media cost that is already retained by an ad sales agent as its commission (standard practise in ad sales). Spotify would not get to keep this part of the value of the advertising sold, and the label has to accept it cannot therefore take a share of it. Makes complete sense to me, so I don’t understand the criticism of the wording.

      Reply
  2. Anonymous

    Why do the majors always steer the formats, to lock in content.

    The playlists do just that. Users will steer away from spotify if they push the playlists too hard. Like physical, we didn’t want the other 11 tracks on the album, and we don’t want most of the tracks on the playlists.

    It will be interesting to see how this plays out, thankfully we have the search box.

    So, really, no matter how twisted the interface becomes users will navigate it (to a point)

    Reply
  3. Remi Swierczek

    Soon we will get dizzy from all the options and ass kissing Spotify offers. Some might collapse!!!

    No matter what they do, SOON, Apple/dead-Beats team will shrink them.

    Then both will happily purse long term SHRINKAGE of $100B+ of OBVIOUS TO AN IDIOT music goodwill to $20B of subs. If they are lucky they might get there in 2025.

    Steve Jobs is rolling over in his grave.

    Reply
  4. Connie Sumer

    Ari Herstand is a typical modern day journalist a la blogger. Poor mass communications skills. This individual likes to pepper er saute the entire open of this article with political opinion (Ari’s a left winger). Ari too is a bit in the dark on social media obviously, as he/she doesn’t realize that Periscope is based on hand held devices and not a full blown production suite complete with a cam op & crew. Typical of today’s so called journalists is the hip hop style of writing er shall I say cut-copy-paste your essay from somewhere else whilst stirring in opinions & points of view that are irrelevant & contrary to the topic. Get a real education Ari Herstand. You will go farther than that Bloggers for Dummies certification.

    Reply

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