Spotify turns albums into TikToks because attention spans are dead

Spotify logo in front of a purple transparent block with Spotify screenshots behind it
Credit: Spotify

Over the past year or two, Spotify has been slowly adding more features to move away from solely music streaming (into things like audiobooks and podcasts), while also adding Tiktok-like elements, including a recent feature to listen to an entire album in just a few short minutes.

Spotted by users recently, Spotify's latest addition lets users press on a small box at the top of an album's track list, next to the favourite and download buttons to turn an album or artist's discography into short, roughly 30-second clips for each track, attempting to highlight the best moments, as well as label each song's genre(s).

Folie a Deux from Fall Out Boy on Spotify with the new button highlighted
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Credit: StealthOptional

The battle between Apple Music and Spotify has been growing strong for years now, with the top two music streaming services attempting to take market share from the other. But while Apple Music is consistently adding features to make the experience better, Spotify is tarnishing its legacy by equipping users with useless Tiktok-style features or shoving podcasts and audiobooks in their faces.

What makes it even worse is that Spotify is missing out on some much-needed features that users have been begging to see come to the service. One such feature is lossless audio, both of which have been available via Tidal and Apple Music for nine years and three years respectively. Spotify announced it was looking into lossless audio options back in 2021, with Spotify Supremium leaking as a likely rival for the other services late last year. However, as of 2024, it still hasn't been announced or given a release date.

While many users spending a fortune on the best earbuds for music will be looking to experience the best audio streaming quality possible, Spotify is seemingly focused on grabbing more of the Tiktok audience as subscribers. This latest feature will likely be unused by many, as most people either listen to singles, albums in their entireties, or playlists, all of which most users will find and download themselves.

Back to the latest feature at hand, there's certainly a place for listening to an album in small bursts to see whether you'd like it or not, as many of us likely click on individual tracks and skip to the middle to test it out anyway. However, it begs the question as to whether Spotify's terrible royalty payments would be paid for those getting their discography Tiktok-skimmed on repeat or not.

Spotify new short-form video feature like Tiktok for Quadeca and Travis Scott albums
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Credit: StealthOptional

I'm an album fan, and not a playlist creator. I much prefer to listen to an entire album's track list in one go (or as much as I can in one sitting) rather than be shuffled through a random library of my favourite tracks. From my own experience using this feature, the short-form videos hardly give you the best moments of each track, and the experience is lost compared to sitting and enjoying each second of a beautiful song.

I, personally, moved away from Spotify after being subscribed to premium for roughly four years. Apple Music had plenty of better audio streaming features that were free with your monthly cost, and Spotify's recent identity crisis made a once simple UI and UX convoluted and contrived. I have no doubt plenty of people feel the same way I do, and I can tell you, Apple Music is actually great on both iPhone and Android.

Of course, Spotify isn't the only one to have "Tiktokified" it's app to try and compete with the titular social media. YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook have all attempted to make their own versions of Tiktok's short-form videos, with YouTube Shorts and Instagram Reels respectively. However, these don't necessarily take away from the experience, but just add an additional element. Spotify's new Tiktok-style elements actively take away from the pleasure of listening to a full track, while the elements on the homepage make it difficult to find new artists or music that you want to see instead.

That's not to say that Spotify hasn't done some great things in the last year or so. Daylist gives you a unique little playlist each day, while the AI DJ is surprisingly clever at playing your favourite tunes and introducing you to some similar artists all-in-one. But Spotify's TikTokification is killing the service for me, and these features won't bring me back anytime soon.

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