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The Spotify app is a large number, and audiobooks will make it worse

There’s been a variety of chatter about Spotify turning right into a platform that can help audiobooks. Final yr, the streaming firm introduced an acquisition of Findaway, an audiobook platform just like Anchor. And in line with a current report from The Verge, Spotify executives have begun pitching traders the concept of internet hosting audiobooks on the platform.

It could look like it’s solely a matter of time till subscribers are given entry to an limitless provide of audiobooks on the Spotify app, identical to podcasts earlier than it. Whereas the concept of having the ability to take heed to audiobooks in the identical app that I take heed to music is nice on paper, I can’t assist however really feel a sure sense of dread as I anticipate the upcoming announcement.

An app filled with muddle

The Spotify cellular app has seen a number of important redesigns over the previous couple of years, however the present approach it’s organized leaves a lot to be desired. Trying to find new music and podcasts has by no means been simpler because of the various enhancements to the app’s search engine, however a lot of the UI has been made drastically worse because the app has grown older.

Joe Maring/Digital Traits

The Residence web page is crammed to the brim with steered albums I’ve by no means heard of, podcasts I don’t take heed to, and playlists for music I don’t look after. Positive, there are some nice additions like Spotify’s customized Every day Mixes, however there’s simply an excessive amount of happening with its UI elsewhere for the expertise to really feel clean.

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Most of the points I’ve with the Spotify app stem from the truth that it permits music and podcasts to mingle in the identical areas collectively — making it tough to seek out both. If audiobooks are added to the combo, the Spotify app would possibly teeter on the sting of being unusable because of the sheer variety of worlds colliding with out correct group.

Audiobooks would definitely enhance the worth of getting a Spotify subscription. Nevertheless, the present cellular app is on no account able to easily herald a completely new type of audio content material. The considered music mixing with podcasts mixing with audiobooks within the present model of the app simply looks as if an entire nightmare. If the Spotify app had been to combine audiobooks, the corporate would wish to assume exhausting about the way it’s going to arrange its UI in order that audiobooks don’t get meaninglessly added to the cacophony of album and podcast artwork that’s the Residence tab.

How Spotify can repair this mess

The way in which I see it, there are two options that Spotify might make use of to probably repair the problem. The primary is to create a completely separate app for Spotify audiobooks. That is the least enticing possibility as managing a number of apps is hardly handy, but it surely might have large advantages for separating the totally different media. Apple was capable of do it with the separate Apple Music and Apple Podcasts apps, so there’s definitely a precedent for one thing like that working with Spotify.

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Spotify app icon on iPhone.
Phil Nickinson/Digital Traits

The best choice would probably be for Spotify to easily add extra methods of organizing content material in-app. As a substitute of getting simply three tabs on the backside of the display screen — Residence, Search, and Your Library — it is likely to be useful to merge the capabilities of the Residence tab into each the Search and Your Library tabs to make approach for extra choices. That approach, there could possibly be room for Music, Audiobooks, and Podcasts tabs (or one thing of the like).

I’m clearly not an app designer, however there appear to be obtrusive points with the Spotify app that will solely be exacerbated by the addition of audiobooks. Spotify must assume lengthy and exhausting about the way it’s going to make some semblance of sense out of the mess that’s the present cellular app. If it doesn’t, Spotify might lose subscribers to competing apps which have a stronger grasp of content material group.

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