SoundCloud seeks to steal Spotify’s thunder by testing a vertical feed for better music discovery. Both streaming platforms could soon look like TikTok.

New tests by SoundCloud show a vertical app layout with songs you might not have heard yet previewed as short clips, bringing your SoundCloud feed closer to a TikTok experience.

SoundCloud’s current Feed tab shows friends’ reposts and new tracks from already-followed artists. The new test puts emphasis on discovering new songs and artists through an AI-generated feed. It’s natural therefore that the changes will draw comparison to TikTok, with its endless feed of recommendations.

What does the new SoundCloud update look like for users?

SoundCloud’s test separates its feed into Discover and Following pages. Both feeds have 30-second audio clips previewing songs, and feature a vertical whole-screen feed.

The new Discover page shows tracks based on your listening history and taste, along with a sentence explaining why a song is being recommended to you.

To listen to a full song, you simply tap the play button, taking you to a new page with song info where you can add the track to playlists and write comments as always. Users can also like songs.

The test is currently happening amongst certain iOS and Android app users.

What does this mean for SoundCloud artists?

The snippets are another creative way for artists to connect with fans on SoundCloud, and hopefully offer a chance to get their music in front of a broader range of listeners.

Artists can choose which clip to use, or alternatively, the 30-second audio clip can be chosen by Musiio, an AI discovery tool.

SoundCloud tests new Discovery vertical video feed.

Why the new tests from SoundCloud?

An endless stream of new songs in an engaging format helps keep users locked into a music app for longer. Heading down a TikTok pathway also fits in well with SoundCloud’s focus on user-generated content.

Anyone can upload directly to SoundCloud; there’s no need for any third party to put tracks online, making it more social media-orientated than the likes of Spotify.

Speaking of Spotify, the platform is finally launching its own vertical feed, after years of tests. Spotify’s conference Stream On 2023 looks likely to contain an announcement of a discovery feed with similar preview clips to SoundCloud’s offering.

Stream On is tomorrow, 8 March, so it’s a very timely move indeed for SoundCloud to suddenly make its own vertical feed tests public.

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