Spotify New Group Session Feature: Everything To Know

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Spotify
A trader is reflected in a computer screen displaying the Spotify brand before the company begins selling as a direct listing on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York, U.S. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Spotify has added a new feature called Group Sessions. With this feature, users will be able to share playlists with other users so that everyone listens to the same songs in real time. This feature is intended for Spotify Premium users.

This isn't the first time that Spotify introduced a way for users to share their playlists with other users. For example, a feature called Collaborative playlists allows several users to add, delete and reorder tracks in a single shared playlist. Family Mix, a feature made available for Premium Family plan members, combines the music that family members enjoy into one playlist.

Group Sessions differs from these apps in a very big way. While these apps combines what several users like into a single playlist, they don't let everyone in the group listen to what's being played simultaneously. Group Sessions is more of a party mode where everyone in the same place listens to the same thing, regardless of whoever's playing, pausing or skipping tracks, in real time.

This is how the feature works: the “host” will open the Connect menu at the bottom-left side of the Play screen, gets a scannable code from there, then shares that code with others nearby. Others will then scan the host's code it order to join the group session.

Once inside, everyone will be able to have control of the music being played. Each user will be able to use Spotify's built-in controls to play, pause, and skip tracks. Each user in the group will also be able to select the song they want to play from the queue, or add songs they want included in the list.

The catch? Each time someone does something, it affects playback for other users. For example, one user in a group of five decides to skip to the next track – all five of them will skip to the next track. Any changes that any user makes will be displayed on other user's devices immediately.

Spotify told TechCrunch that Group Sessions is still in beta, and is still being tested and developed. It can be used by Spotify Premium account owners, as well as those who share the same Spotify Premium Family account. Up to 100 users can join a Group Session at any time, provided that they are in the same physical space. This makes it perfect for people quarantining together.

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