Jun 12, 2023 2 min read

Spotify selling Soundtrap, testing offline mix

Spotify selling Soundtrap, testing offline mix

Spotify has sold online recording tool Soundtrap back to two of its founders, five years after acquiring it.

“Soundtrap was built to provide the best collaboration platform for making music online”, says co-founder Per Emanuelsson in a statement. “Together with Soundtrap’s co-founder, Björn Melinder, we’ve made the decision to acquire the company from Spotify, returning to an independent operation”.

“Over the last five years, we’ve greatly benefitted from Spotify’s expertise and global reach, enabling us to rapidly scale our service and launch new products”, he goes on. “We thank Spotify for helping to set us on the trajectory we’re on today and are very excited for the future”.

Spotify’s Global Head Of Music Product, Charlie Hellman, adds: “Soundtrap continues to make great strides in enabling more people to make music collaboratively online. We’re proud of what we’ve achieved together and are excited to see Soundtrap’s next phase of growth over the coming years”.

Launched in 2013, Soundtrap’s web-based recording software was acquired by Spotify in 2017 for an undisclosed sum and remained a standalone business. Originally aimed at grassroots music-makers and schools, in 2019 it added functionality designed for podcasters, because, you know, that was when Spotify was going big on podcasts.

It’s not the first time Spotify has sold back a company it had previously acquired that provided services for music-makers. In 2021, it sold SoundBetter – a platform for connecting music-making collaborators, which it had bought in 2019 – back to its founders.

Elsewhere in Spotify news, the streaming service is testing a new ‘offline mix’ feature, which would automatically download a collection of recently played songs to your phone for when you find yourself without an internet connection but want to listen to some music. Or, as Spotify puts it, “for when the vibe is high but the connection is low”.

The streaming service’s CEO Daniel Ek tweeted that “we’ve been testing out a new feature called ‘Your Offline Mix’ – a playlist designed for those times when you might not be online”.

He added an emoji suggesting that this was intended for when you’re flying. Although in that situation you might have planned ahead and already manually downloaded some playlists for offline listening. This new feature seems more useful for times when you’re unexpectedly caught without connection.

Based on Ek’s tweet, it appears that the mix will automatically load around three and half hours of music to your phone.

This is actually something Spotify has been working on for a number of years. Engineer Jane Manchun Wong uncovered the feature back in 2020. Why it would take three years to implement a relatively simple thing isn’t clear. Although, presumably, the COVID pandemic made it less of a priority.

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