Spotify has had a big year: they hit more than 80 million paid subscribers, launched a much-improved new free plan, and even IPO-ed. If you’ve been a Premium subscriber for a while, you might not have noticed a lot of the other small changes and features that got added. Here’s what’s new.
Better Recommendations and Personalized Playlists
At How-To Geek, we’re huge fans of Spotify’s recommendation engine and the playlists it generates. While it won’t always knock the ball out of the park, it’s generally pretty good at surfacing cool songs you’ll like or songs you love but haven’t heard in a while. And the more you listen, the better it gets.
Spotify has started working recommendations into other areas of the app like search and artist radios. You’ll also start to see personalized recommendations in Spotify’s theme playlists soon.
Overall, the recommendation algorithm keeps improving, so if you haven’t checked out Discover Weekly or your Daily Mixes in a while, now might be the time.
An Increased Download Limit
Spotify used to cap the number of songs you could save for offline listening to 3,333 on three different devices. They’ve now upped it to 10,000 tracks per device on five devices. It’s an excellent change for heavy playlist downloaders like me.
Unfortunately, your library of saved tracks is still limited to 10,000 songs, but hopefully, Spotify will lift that—completely arbitrary—limit soon.
Integrations With Google Maps and Waze
Everyone likes to listen to a bit of driving music and now, with Spotify’s integration with Google Maps and Waze (a Google-owned Maps service) it’s easier than ever.
To enable it in Google Maps, go to Settings > Navigation > Music Playback Controls and select the “Spotify” option.
For Waze, open the Spotify app, go to Settings > Social, and enable “Waze Navigation.”
A New Focus on Podcasts
Over the last year, Spotify has started pushing hard into non-music audio like podcasts and even motion comics. The BBC and NPR’s full podcast slates are now available. Vice also debuted their podcast about the leader of the Sinaloa cartel, Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, on the service.
From the tone of Spotify’s press releases, it’s pretty clear they see podcasts and similar stuff as a major area for growth so expect to see more. But hey, at least podcasts are awesome and having all your audio listening in a single app doesn’t sound like a terrible experience.
Song Sharing to Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories are continuing to take over the world—my Snapchat is now just a depressing wasteland—and one new feature they’ve added is the ability to share Spotify tracks directly to your Instagram Stories so your friends can see what you’re listening to and play it themselves.
To share a song to your Instagram Story, select it in Spotify and go to Share > Instagram Stories. Post it as usual, and your friends will be able to open it directly when they view it.
A Way to See Song Credits
A lot of people work on the music you listen to, and Spotify doesn’t have the best history of acknowledging them all—especially songwriters. To make peace, Spotify has launched a Secret Genius program to honor songwriters and made it possible to view the extended credits for tracks in Spotify.
Select the song in Spotify and then go to “Song Credits” to see them.
Spotify has been such an excellent service for so long that it’s easy to miss new features they add. Personally, I’m digging the podcast integration.