Spotify has officially rolled out Group Session, a new Premium feature that allows at least two users to both control what tracks are playing through a shared playlist in real-time.
The new Spotify Group Session feature works like a party mode function wherein the participants of the shared channel are not passive listeners, but can actually contribute songs to a playlist to a live playlist.
As noted by TechCrunch, the functionality should prove a fun collaborative tool for listeners, especially now that just about everybody is in lockdown.
Family members can actually spend time together in a virtual listening room, where they can swap take turns playing their favorite tracks.
Of course, it’s not just families who can take full advantage of the feature. Friends who share musical tastes—or not—can converge via a collaborative playlist. Even teammates can use Group Session to create a party mode for work, that is if it won’t bother their productivity too much.
How to use the new Spotify feature
To enable a Group Session, a user will have to initiate it by tapping the Connect menu found on the lower-left section of Spotify’s Play interface.
Then having done that, it’s just a matter of sharing the scannable code to other Spotify users, who can easily join the shared playlist by scanning the code.
Through the usual controls on Spotify, listeners can play, contribute songs for queuing, and even skip tunes.
Any activity by any contributor will be displayed for all participants to see, so everybody will know instantly which user skipped that Macarena track.
Improving upon previous features
Spotify has actually tried offering collaborative tools before, or features that listeners can use to share their jams.
For instance, users can actually collaborate with friends to create a playlist, with each participant able to contribute, remove, or reorganize the playlist queue.
Furthermore, subscribers under the streaming platform’s Premium Family plan can also tune in to a Family Mix, which is a personalized playlist that collates favorites from all members of the household.
But none of those previous features allow listeners to collaborate in real-time.
Gradual and quiet roll-out
Spotify began testing the Group Session feature in 2019, with some Spotify users reporting that they have noticed the feature live in their accounts.
This time around, however, the company is officially rolling out the feature worldwide to all of its Premium subscribers. Its support page on Spotify’s website is now up.
It’s quite possible that the current COVID-19 crisis has inspired the tech giant to formally launch a feature that could help people be connected in uncertain times. After all, music has always been something that could easily bring people together, no matter their age, location, and culture.