Spotify doesn't just want to be your music app. It wants to be TikTok and YouTube too

The Spotify Home Screen is getting a massive redesign to make it more like a social media app

Spotify app 2023
(Image credit: Spotify)

Spotify is making some massive changes to its app. At the firm's Stream On event it showed off a dramatic redesign that to my eyes looks very much like TikTok, the social network everybody seems to be copying this year. Others have suggested it's quite YouTube-y. What it doesn't seem much like is a music player.

With the redesign, opening the app means you'll still see images of albums and playlists. But you'll also see additional content such as video podcasts or large photos about other audio content. Tap on Music or on Podcasts and Shows and you'll be taken to what looks very much like a TikTok or Instagram feed than the Spotify you know.

The goal here is to make Spotify a one-stop destination for all kinds of entertainment, and to really ramp up the app's discovery and recommendation features. Whether it's managed to do that without making the core app annoying, we'll have to wait and see.

Why is Spotify so keen on showing you stuff?

Spotify isn't interested in just being the biggest audio streaming service. It also wants to be the biggest podcast service, something it's invested a lot of money into – sometimes controversially, with large sums going to polarising podcasters – as well as the biggest audiobook service. 

Those investments haven't really paid off yet, and that's something Spotify clearly wants to change. In a recent discussion with investors, founder Daniel Ek admitted that the podcasting business was dragging the firm's profitability down.

Ultimately what Spotify wants is for you not only to listen to things you already know about, but to stay in the app and discover more things too – not just things such as audio streams, but merch and concert tickets too. Also this week, Spotify announced "Fans First emails" for access to show pre-sales and exclusive merchandise.

That's a really tricky balancing act, as we've seen in other social networks: for example my Instagram feed often borders on the unusable because it's so full of content I didn't ask to see. Get it right and Spotify could be rolling in money; get it wrong and it could alienate its core audience.

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (