Spotify is hoping to set the soundtrack for your next gathering with a new Party mode.
The streaming music service already offers dozens of ready-made party playlists, but Party mode goes a step further. Start by choosing a mix, such as “Crowd Pleasers” or “Hip Hop Takeover,” and as the music plays, a slider lets you choose from three “mood” or energy levels.
Adjusting the mood slider doesn’t just change tracks. It also creates a blend effect so the music doesn’t stop playing. Likewise, each playlist flows from one track to the next, so it sounds like there’s a DJ running the show. (Spotify says it used actual DJs do the mixing, and has partnered with Diplo in particular on a Spotify-exclusive “Diplo and friends” playlist.)
This isn’t Spotify’s only attempt to go beyond the playlist and address some specific use cases. In May, the company introduced a Running mode that matches music's beats per minute to a runner’s pace. Spotify also appears to be considering a “Car Mode” for safer use while driving. (Rival service Rhapsody has followed a similar path, with both Car and Kids modes that launched earlier this year.)
Party mode is rolling out now to Spotify’s iOS and Android apps, TechCrunch reports. It’s unclear if the feature will make its way to Spotify’s web and desktop versions.
Why this matters: With every on-demand streaming music service charging the same price for paid subscriptions, and offering similar catalogs (with some notable exceptions), differentiation is difficult. Spotify’s main advantage continues to be its free offering, but interactive features like Running and Party are a way to make its paid service stand out as well.