Audio reactions are coming to Spotify

Spotify is testing recording audio reactions for music playlists, automatically uploading them to the streaming service as a podcast episode.

An iPhone running Spotify laid flat on a table alongside AirPods and an Apple Watch
Image: Cezar Sampaio / Unsplash
  • What’s happening? Spotify is a testing a new feature that lets you record audio reaction which are automatically uploaded to the service as podcast episodes.
  • Why care? Because custom audio reactions are not your typical feature in a music service. And also because audio reactions might boost user engagement by prompting other like-minded people to post their own reactions.
  • What to do? If you’re included in this test, test the feature by responding to a prompt when listening to a playlist. You can also manually start recording your audio reaction by touching a microphone icon on a playlist’s page.

Who’s ready for Spotify audio reactions?

According to a Reddit user, people who are included in this test may see a prompt when listening to a playlist asking them to record an audio reaction.

Android screenshots showcasing the ability to record audio reactions in the Spotify app
Screenshots: u/Mortical219 / Reddit

“So what do you think?” it reads. “Record an episode to share your thoughts on the playlist.” Spotify has confirmed in a statement given to TechCrunch that it’s currently running this limited test with a small number of users.

“We are currently running a limited test of in-app audio creation, but have no further details to share at this time,” the company acknowledged.

The recording interface includes basic editing options that allow you to tag your recording to make it more easily searchable, the ability to add background music and the like. You can also create a custom title for the recording, add poster art and write a short description.

If you’ve used explicit language, there’s a toggle for that. To define the audience for the recording, touch the option labeled “Who will see this?” When done, hit Publish and the app will upload your audio reaction to the service in form of a new podcast episode. Read: How to embed episodes from Apple Podcasts on your website

When will Spotify release this feature?

Spotify often experiments with interesting features, and some of them never launch publicly. For example, Spotify recently began testing an experimental feature that permits users to record and post podcast episodes directly from the app. At the time of this writing, however, that feature still appeared limited to a small pool of Spotify customers who live in the United States and New Zealand.

Depending on user feedback during the testing phase, the company will determine whether to kill audio reactions or make them more broadly available to other users. It all depends on whether testers embrace this feature or not.

Could this become a thing?

For now, spending time to record your audio reaction which is then uploaded to the service as a podcast episode doesn’t seem to have the potential to become a mainstream feature. We could easily be wrong about that given the popularity of reaction features on other services.

It’s almost like when the iPhone gained a front-facing camera. At first, no one cared about photographing themselves. But things changed quickly, and no one saw it coming. Back then, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who really knew that selfies would become such a big thing. So maybe audio reactions on Spotify are like one of those features people don’t know they need until someone gives it to them.