While Spotify has dabbled with video before, it’s hardly an integral part of the music streaming app at the moment. That might be about to change, based on code hidden inside the current version of the mobile app.
As revealed by serial hidden-feature-revealer Jane Wong on Twitter, Spotify engineers are experimenting with a new Video tab on the now playing screen, to go alongside Album Art and Canvas tabs.
There’s nothing there yet though – only a message that reads: “Thanks for your interest in video. We’re still exploring what could happen here.” Music videos would seem to be the obvious choice.
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If you’re unfamiliar with Canvas by the way, it shows short, looping animations provided by the artist for selected songs. It’s more visual art than an actual music video, and in the current apps you get to (if it doesn’t start playing automatically) it by tapping on the album art.
Spotify is finally working on a tab to switch between Canvas, Album Art, and Video (which is new!) pic.twitter.com/xOwvoSnBdVJune 20, 2020
The easy comparison to make here is with Google’s up-and-coming YouTube Music, which has music videos front and center – you can switch between video and audio for tracks that have videos with a single tap, for example.
YouTube has been a fantastic music resource for years, way before YouTube Music launched. Besides having just about every music video of recent years, Google’s video sharing platform also has a ton of rare audio, live recordings, and music uploaded by fans.
Now it seems that Spotify is keen to get in on the music video action. It would most likely have to tap up YouTube for access to the videos, which might pose a problem – though YouTube is usually okay with its content getting embedded, as long as it means more views for the clips.
As yet Spotify hasn’t said anything official about the feature being tested, which comes with the usual caveat: it might end up getting abandoned even before it reaches users. Even if Spotify is only playing around with the idea of music video, it shows how it’s thinking about ways to keep users in its apps.