News

Spotify Developing In-App “Remix” Feature

Spotify is developing a new “remix” feature that would allow users to speed up, slow down, and mash up songs within the app, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal.

The new feature would also allow users to save edited tracks for repeat listening and share them with other Spotify users. However, these user-generated remixes will not be sharable on third-party social media platforms.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the move “is a bet on the future of music consumption” in an effort to “appeal to young users while generating new revenue for artists.” 

Rights holders, labels, publishers and artists would be compensated when fans stream these modified versions of the original tracks, allowing them to seize revenue currently lost on increasingly popular user-generated remixes, ranging from spliced lyrics to rapidly sped-up tracks.

The report also suggests that Spotify is attempting to reclaim listening time lost to TikTok and Instagram Reels, where these unsanctioned remixes are frequently shared, especially among Gen Z users.

The Wall Street Journal reports that 38 percent of TikTok songs had their tempos or pitches modified in 2023—an increase of 25 percent from 2022—according to Pex, a social media content and data firm.

To capitalize on this music consumption trend, some artists have officially released multiple iterations of their tracks in various tempos and production styles. This move ensures they receive the royalties lost when user-edited tracks go viral, rather than their own originals.

This relatively common practice in dance music—evidenced in singles and EPs that include radio edits, extended mixes and other versions—was adopted by SZA in February when she released “Saturn,” alongside its four other versions: live, sped-up, a capella and instrumental.

Earlier this month, Bloomberg reported that Spotify is developing a “Supremium” subscription, offering high-fidelity audio and other premium features at a higher cost.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the ability to speed up or slow down tracks will likely be available under Spotify’s standard paid subscription. However, “more advanced song-modification features” could be reserved for the Supremium tier.

Featured image from Pexels.com.

Written by
Peter Volpe

Journalism student at The Ohio State University with a passion for culture and fat basslines.

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