Spotify has some big changes incoming. Will it adopt a vertical scrolling homepage like TikTok? It’s likely.
The Stream On event in Los Angeles in March will be where Spotify introduces its latest features. Bloomberg reports that one of those features is a vertically swiped homepage that operates similarly to TikTok’s Discover functionality. Spotify’s been working on this feature for some time, since an early preview was shown at investor day in June 2022.
Spotify says it routinely conducts a “number of tests in an effort to improve our user experience. Some of those end up paving the path for our broader user experience and others serve only as important learnings. We have no further news to share on future plans at this time,” when Bloomberg asked for more clarification on the feature. Spotify has already invested heavily in video initiatives, so a new scrolling feed highlighting videos, audiobooks, and podcasts isn’t too surprising.
The new vertical homepage could be part of Spotify’s efforts to attract the younger 18-24 crowd. One in three Spotify users is in that demographic, which Spotify considers low. In an interview with Bloomberg in 2021, CEO Daniel E conceded the company “could be doing better.”
Spotify’s diversified portfolio and expansion into podcasts was supposed to help with that goal. While its podcast strategy has continued to play out—the architect responsible for its direction is leaving Spotify later this year. Dawn Ostroff announced she would depart her role as Spotify’s Chief Content Officer and Advertising Business Officer. While Spotify’s layoffs happened earlier this year, it has been cancelling podcast shows left and right.
Last year the company scrapped 11 podcasts and laid off 40 people before the 6% reduction. The interest in creating podcasts as severely waned following its pandemic explosion in 2020 and 2021, too. According to data from Listen Notes, new podcast creation dropped 80% in 2022 as the format matures.