Back in May, Spotify began testing a new feature called Group Sessions. The feature allowed Premium users to share some control over their playlists, but it only worked with other physically present Premium users. Two and a half months later, Spotify is back with an upgrade to Group Sessions that allows them to share DJ duties with users who aren’t in the same location.
For now, Group Sessions are limited to two to five people, so if you’ve got a large circle of audiophiles in your friend group, you’re probably going to have to cut some people out. Spotify does say that Group Sessions will work for users regardless of distance – in fact, the only requirement seems to be that all users involved are Premium subscribers.
It seems you’ll also need a way to share a link to your playlists, because you can’t invite other users to join your listening session through the Spotify app alone. “Groups of two to five people can use this feature at once by sharing a ‘join’ link via messaging apps or social media with each other,” Spotify’s announcement today reads. You can also let people scan your Spotify code, but that requires them to be in-person with you, which is something we’re trying to avoid at the moment.
That isn’t exactly the most elegant solution when it comes to getting people to join your listening session, but this feature still is in beta, so it’s possible we’ll see a baked-in way to invite other listeners once it launches for everyone. Each user, regardless of if they’re a host or guest, will be able to control playback (play, pause, and skip), and everyone can both select specific tracks in the queue or add new ones to it.
There’s no indication when Spotify plans to officially launch Group Sessions, but the company says that the feature will continue to evolve as it moves through beta. For now, if you’ve got some friends who are also subscribed to Spotify Premium, take the Group Sessions feature for a spin and see how it performs.