During Spotify’s recent earnings call, CEO Daniel Ek hinted at the potential for additional AI-powered features in the streaming service. AI could be utilized to create personalized experiences, summarize podcasts, and generate ads.
One feature already available is the DJ function, which combines AI-generated spoken commentary with curated music selections. Ek remarked on the positive consumer response to this feature and expressed the intention to further contextualize and personalize content throughout the entire platform.
AI could assist in summarizing podcasts, making it easier for users to discover new content. This would benefit podcast creators by increasing engagement and growth. Additionally, AI-generated audio ads could make Spotify more efficient and cost-effective for advertisers, allowing for thousands of ads to be tested across the platform.
This focus on AI coincides with Spotify’s recently published patent application for a text-to-speech synthesis system. The technology described in the patent can convert written text into human-like speech with various emotions, intentions, accents, and volume levels. This system could be utilized for purposes such as natural-sounding audiobook narration.
Spotify’s investment in AI voice technology can be traced back to the acquisition of Sonantic, a London-based startup known for its AI engine that creates realistic human voices. Sonantic’s technology has powered Spotify’s DJ feature.
In terms of financials, Spotify reported a 17% increase in the number of subscribers, reaching a total of 220 million paying users worldwide. The company’s revenue for the latest quarter was nearly €3.2 billion ($3.5 billion), up 11% compared to the previous year. However, Spotify also reported an operating loss of €247 million ($274 million).
Recently, Spotify also announced price increases for its premium plans. Individual plans in the US will now cost $10.99 per month, up from $9.99, and other plans will also see slight increases.