MANILA, Philippines — Music streaming platform Spotify just concluded its virtual event “Stream On,” where a whole range of new features and content were announced to the delight of fans around the world.
Here are select highlights from the event that saw the participation of founder-CEO Daniel Ek, along with established and emerging artists, podcasters, creators and storytellers worldwide.
Market expansion
The company expanded its service to 85 new markets globally, adding 36 new languages in the process. This marks its broadest market expansion to date.
“By reaching even more countries across Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, Europe, and Latin America, we’re giving millions of new creators the opportunity to create, discover, and build a career in audio creation—and giving a billion new fans the opportunity to hear it,” the company said.
The new markets consist of: Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Botswana, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, Cameroon, Chad, Comoros, Côte d’Ivoire, Curaçao, Djibouti, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Eswatini, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Grenada, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Kenya, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lesotho, Liberia, Macau, Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives, Mali, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Micronesia, Mongolia, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Tanzania, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
New creator tools and resources
The company introduced key updates for creators in music and podcasting.
Music-related updates include:

  • Clips — new ways for artists to share intimate moments with fans via video on select playlists
  • Radar Expansion — expanding the company’s global emerging artist program
  • Canvas — short looping visuals that creators can add to their tracks available to all artists
  • Marquee — enabling sponsored recommendations that introduce fans to new music
  • Discovery Mode Beta — new audience development tool that gives artist teams a say in algorithmic recommendations

Podcasting-related updates include:

  • New partnership with WordPress — empowering creators focused on the written word to share their voices on the platform
  • Enabling video in Podcast Creations — giving creators the power to combine audio and visual storytelling in one place
  • Real-time Interactivity Features — letting creators experiment with Polls and Q&As to better connect with listeners
  • Podcast Topic Search — using machine learning to help listeners search for and find podcasts by theme and topic
  • Paid Podcast Subscriptions Beta — enabling diversified options for podcasters to choose how they want to monetize their work
  • Audience Network + Streaming Ad Insertion — using medium-defining technology to connect creators to advertisers who are eager to reach their listeners, helping them to earn more from their work

Upgrading sound quality
Premium subscribers in select markets will be able to upgrade to “HiFi.”
This feature improves sound quality and allows users to listen to their favorite songs “the way artists intended.”
“HiFi will deliver music in CD-quality, lossless audio format to your device and Spotify Connect-enabled speakers, which means fans will be able to experience more depth and clarity while enjoying their favorite tracks,” the company said.
Exclusive podcast content
The app will be adding new world-renowned storytellers exclusively to the platform.
This will include the following unique podcast content:

  • “Renegades: Born in the USA” from former President Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen
  • “Batman Unburied” as part of a multi-year partnership with Warner Bros and DC
  • “Tell Them, I Am” from Higher Ground and hosted by Misha Euceph
  • Ava Duvernay’s first project