Spotify's rumored remix feature could completely change how we listen to music

Spotify is reportedly working on adding remixing tools to its streaming service, giving users a way to reimagine their favorite tracks.

The news comes from The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) whose sources state people will be able to “speed up, mash-up, and otherwise edit songs” however they want. The article explains that one of the purported additions is a playback feature for controlling how fast or how slow a track plays. When you’re finished with a remix, you can then share it with other Spotify users, but not to third-party platforms or social media. There are licensing agreements in place that will prevent people from sharing their creations.

The availability of these tools will differ depending on the type of Spotify subscription you have. The “more basic features” such as the speed control will be on the basic plan; however, the “advanced song modification features” will be on the company’s long-rumored Supremium tier.

Imminent launch

Several lines of code were discovered by Reddit user Hypixely on the Spotify subreddit revealing the company plans on introducing the remix patch as the "Music Pro" add-on. Accompanying text also talks about lossless audio arriving on the platform which could be referring to Supremium. The name of the plan isn't explicitly stated, but the clues are there. The fact that lossless was mentioned alongside the remix update could hint at an imminent release for both, although it may still be a while before we see either one.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the platform is currently hashing out the details with music rights holders. Development is still in the early stages, but once everything comes out, it could upend the way we enjoy music.

Analysis: if you can't beat them...

Arguably, some of the more popular versions of songs are remixes. Fan reinterpretations can alter the meaning of the original and even serve as an introduction to a new generation. As the WSJ points out, people like to add their own unique twists on a classic or edit them for dance challenges or memes. That type of content can be a very effective way of discovering new music. How many times have you seen people in the comments section asking for the source of a song or movie or whatever? It’s quite common.

As great as fan remixes may be, they’ve apparently become a bit of a problem. Musicians and labels don’t get paid for the content utilizing their work. The WSJ mentions how a “sped-up cover version” of the song “Somewhere Only We Know” by the rock band Keane has over 33 million tracks on Spotify. Record executives see this and force these platforms to do something.

There are different solutions to this problem. Spotify chose the path of “if you can’t beat them, join ‘em.” It’s a win-win scenario for everyone involved. Rather than ban the content, the company is choosing to embrace the remixes. People can be creative and artists can get paid.

If you want to flex that creative muscle, check out TechRadar's list of the best free music-making software for 2024.

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