Spotify may not be done adding new technology to its streaming music service. The company confirmed that it is testing a feature that requires the acquisition of an NFT (non-fungible token) to unlock certain playlists. The band royalty part of a pilot that also includes organizations such as Fluf, Moonbirds and Overlord. The experiment appears to be limited to Android users in certain countries, however TechCrunch noted that it was not surprising when Apple limited the use of NFT on iOS in October last year.
A Spotify spokesperson told Engadget that the company is “regularly” conducting tests. Some lead to product improvements while others only amount to “important learnings,” the representative said. The company did not comment on future plans for the NFT pilot. The service is holding its next Stream On event on March 8, but there’s no guarantee the feature will appear.
The company is no stranger to digital tokens. It tested NFT galleries on artist pages last spring, and hired people with relevant technical experience. A move like this could help Spotify form partnerships where it can encourage listening (and sell NFTs to partners) by putting a tastemaker’s music choices behind a paywall. .
The weather was bad, though. Blockchain businesses like FTX and Coinbase are reeling from accusations of fraud or the continued downturn in the crypto market. Interest in NFTs has also cooled significantly over the past year, in part because the assets have often underperformed. Spotify is also cutting costs, and recently said it would lay off six percent of its workforce. The company has little money to invest in experiments, and enters a rough market.
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