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The launch of Spotify Kids: A music streaming app built from expertise and research

On October 30th Spotify launched their children streaming offering, specially developed for the next generation of listeners. As streaming platforms expand their offerings, particularly targeting new demographics, CMOs must ensure their music matching systems adapt to changes.

In the same month that Spotify announced the milestone of 113 million paid subscribers, they also launched an app to expand their user base further, into the next generation of listeners. On October 30th, Spotify launched its Spotify Kids application. This beta launch is exclusively in Ireland, but the streaming platform has plans to roll it out across global markets. 

Music Kid

Spotify is building a platform that people can grow with, throughout their lifetime. However this is not a marketing ploy, years of research was completed before the development of this application. Created for children ages 3 and up, Spotify’s Chief Premium Business Officer, Alex Norström, shared that they wanted to provide a meaningful musical experience that “includes the next generation of audio listeners”. The application features expertly created playlists featuring singalongs, lullabies, soundtracks and much more in a colourful application. Spotify Kids’ look and feel has been designed with children and families in mind to create a holistic musical experience.

Streaming technology allows for customization, there is no one size fits all for all users. A 4 year old and an 11 year old will have differing tastes in music. In this application beyond just child friendly playlists, there is the option to choose a younger or older child option. Spotify has a commitment to enjoyment, this is experienced by all users through relevancy. In a meeting of technology and humans, playlists have been created by experts in children’s content. Many of these playlists have been created with children’s ritualistic behaviours in mind, homework time, bedtime, playtime. Across the board, streaming and other media are creating partnerships. To ensure they feature the content children care about, Spotify has collaborated with providers of children’s content, such as Nickelodeon and Discovery Kids.

Spotify Phone 1

Similar to Netflix’s child friendly offering, this will provide children with an enjoyable experience, while parents have peace of mind. Of course, when building a streaming application for children, there are various concerns to be addressed. Firstly to ensure it was fit for purpose, Spotify completed two years of research in partnership with the National Children’s Museum in Washington D.C., parents globally and their own employee research groups. Beyond this, the playlists are curated by experts, rather than algorithms, to ensure they are perfectly designed with children’s experiences in mind. With music with explicit lyrics available for general users, effective censorship filtration has been to put in place to ensure that the music consumed is age appropriate. Spotify is consumed by many listeners through their freemium offering which contains advertising. Advertising to children raises many ethical concerns however this offering is only available through the family premium package and will remain ad free. Of course, finally, it is being rolled out slowly with just Irish users having access to the product. This will give Spotify the time to develop insights, complete further research and make changes before a global launch.

Music streaming is not one size fits all. Beyond certain platforms gaining popularity for a particular genre, now streaming platforms are developing new offerings. The Matching Engine application supports CMOs to manage the changing dynamics of the music industry. High performance matching and cloud technology combined support businesses in tracking streaming royalties. Talk to the music matching team today about your systems.