22 Nov 12Shona Ghosh
Spotify is reportedly taking steps to improve discovery on its music streaming service, launching an overhauled user follow system that will allow listeners to find and track influential musicians and tastemakers. According to a report in TechCrunch, the new feature will roll out in early December, with Spotify showing follow suggestions to both new and existing users in an attempt to make it easier for them to find music. New third-party app partners will also reportedly offer complementary features to boost the social and discovery elements of the service.
Spotify is often criticised for the relative lack of discovery features, with the service relying on third-party apps such as Rolling Stone or NME to guide users to new music. Though users can connect with friends via Facebook's Open Graph, it remains relatively difficult to track down whether their favourite artists or DJs might be using the service to create playlists.
Although user follows would be a relatively small improvement to Spotify's overall service, cracking discovery more widely could prove essential if the firm isto hit the mainstream. Spotify's visual layout is highly search-based, meaning users already need to know what they want to listen to when they log in. Although introducing third-party apps is intended to combat this, the firm is behind competitors such as Deezer and Rdio when it comes to exposing usersto new releases and curation features.
It is also widely expected that Spotify will announce a new funding round of USD100m, giving it a valuation of USD3bn, as it seeks to chase rivals such as Deezer to Latin America and other regions. The firm currently boasts 4m paying users and 15m active users, and will hope to build on this base through its expansion, as it aims for profitability. A report in TechCrunch suggests the firm is on track to record USD500m in revenues this year, though it is likely toremain a loss-maker for the time being.
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