Spotify launches social distancing friendly ‘Group Session’ feature for real-time music sharing

Spotify is out today with a neat new feature that lets users listen to music in real-time with others including sharing playback control. Particularly handy during the pandemic, “Group Sessions” is available now as a beta feature for Spotify Premium subscribers to connect with friends and family through music.

At the end of March, Spotify highlighted how the pandemic has changed its users’ listening habits. One of the trends was an uptick in Spotify playlist collaborations and sharing on social media. Now Spotify is taking that a step further by launching a new “Group Session” feature (in beta) to enable real-time listening with others and also share playback control all while being able to practice social distancing.

Here’s how Spotify describes it:

Today, Spotify is launching a beta version of Group Session, an evolving feature that allows a group of two or more Premium users in the same space to share the control for their listening session with others via a Spotify Code. In addition to real-time listening, the feature will offer shared queue control and collaboration for the listening group.

Spotify notes that a few use cases include sharing and listening to work from home playlists or having dance parties with friends and family.

Here’s how to use the new feature (Premium subscription required):

To access the feature, the “host” can tap the Connect menu in the bottom left corner of their play screen and share the scannable code with “guests”. Guests can join the session by scanning the host’s scannable code. Then, using the standard controls, both host and guests are empowered to pause, play, skip and select tracks on the queue as well as add in choices of their own. Changes are immediately reflected on all participant devices.

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Avatar for Michael Potuck Michael Potuck

Michael is an editor for 9to5Mac. Since joining in 2016 he has written more than 3,000 articles including breaking news, reviews, and detailed comparisons and tutorials.