It will probably be a while before we get to hold parties with friends and loved ones, but for when that day comes, Spotify is ready to let you share music duties with other users. They’re now launching a Group Session feature that allows you to add more users to the party control mode to be able to add, pause, re-start and basically control the music. The main difference from the previous collaborative playlists is that you all need to be in the same space.
The Group Session feature will let participating Spotify users add and control a single playlist without having to pass around a phone connected to the speakers. You will be able to do so on your own device. The host will be able to generate a scannable code on their phone and then the others can use that code to connect their phones and Spotify accounts to the session. Controls include skipping forward or moving one track back or just choosing the song you want to hear next.
Whatever changes one user makes to the session will automatically reflect across all the devices that are logged into it. And if the session remains idle for one hour, it will automatically end. There doesn’t seem to be any limit to the number of users that can be added to it but the only requirement is that you all have to be in the same space. For now, since it’s in beta, only Spotify Premium or Spotify Premium Family account.
Previously, Spotify offers collaborative playlists wherein you can add other users to a playlist that you created so they can add their own songs, reorder the tracks, delete the ones they don’t like, etc. The difference here is that it doesn’t have the live playback tools that you can do with the Group Sessions feature. If you’re having small gatherings with your family or housemates, then this is something you can use for your background music.
Spotify Group Session is still in beta so only Premium users will be able to use it. No news yet if those who are on the free tier will be able to get it eventually.