Spotify ‘Group Sessions’ will let you stream simultaneously with people far away

If you’ve been wanting to host your own virtual dance party with people who are thousands of KMs away, you can now do so with Spotify—as long as you have a Premium account. Spotify is now letting Premium users listen to music and podcasts with up to 4 other people simultaneously through their beta Group Sessions feature.

“So no matter the distance—whether six feet apart or a thousand miles away—you and the members of your squad can now each listen to the same content at the same time on your own devices (as well as control playback),” wrote Spotify in their press release.

Groups of two to five people can use this feature. To do so, click or tap the connect menu in the bottom-left corner of the play screen and scroll down to “Start a group session.” Then, share the invite link with your guests or have them scan the Spotify code to join the session.

The feature has yet to show up in my own account, but it’s expected to roll out soon. So far, we still have the basic Group Session was launched last May—where hosts can share a Spotify Code that their guests scan to join the party. Here’s what it looks like:

Theoretically, you can still host listening parties with people far away. You can screencap your own code and send the screencap via messages or social media for your friends so that they can scan the code for themselves. Ideally, they would have two devices so do this.

They can save your code on their computer or laptop, and then use their phone to scan the code. It’s a hassle, but it will still get the job done.

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Whether you have the updated feature or not, both the host and guests can pause, play, skip, and select tracks on the queue as well as add in choices of their own using the standard controls. If one person makes a change, it will immediately be reflected on all participant devices.

In terms of what type of content you can listen to—you can virtually listen to anything on Spotify, including podcasts. But a downside to Group Sessions is that there is no chat feature, which means you would still need to communicate with your party with other chat apps.

Previously, we’ve reported that Spotify announced a brand new premium membership plan for two people living at the same home address: Spotify Premium Duo. The subscription comes at a monthly fee of RM19.80, with two users to have independent premium accounts.


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Dzamira Dzafri