Spotify’s streaming music service has been at the forefront of figuring out new ways to spark music discovery, in terms of personalized playlists and other recommendations. Now the company is taking its collaborative playlist feature and pushing it for use at parties. The “Playlist Potluck,” as this experience is called, allows a Spotify user to invite friends to an event by sharing their playlist, then allowing their guests to add their own favorite tunes.
Collaborative playlists are an older Spotify feature, but one that’s sometimes a bit underhyped. In reality, playlist programming at parties is often handled on the fly — the host simply hands over their phone and says, “here, play what you want.”
With Playlist Potluck, the idea is to instead create the playlist in advance of the event, by making it part of the invitation process itself.
The feature is being launched in partnership with Sonos as part of a promotional campaign where you can win Sonos speakers and a chance to have a top chef, like Danny Bowien or Inaki Aizpitarte, come cook for your party.
Because it’s a joint effort, you’ll visit a dedicated page on Sonos’ website (playlistpotluck.sonos.com) in order to set up your playlist. Here, you’ll need to authorize the Sonos Playlist Potluck to access your Spotify account data, agree to the terms and register for the promo by sharing personal info like your location, phone number and age. When that’s done, you can create your playlist.
Unfortunately, you can only add five of your own tracks to the list before you have to turn it over to your guests. After doing so, you’ll be given a unique URL that you can share via email, Facebook, Twitter or as a link that you can copy and paste anywhere you choose. That way, you can incorporate playlist programming as part of the party invite.
When clicked, guests are taken to a landing page that shows the host’s playlist and invites them to join in. The page doesn’t make it super obvious how to participate, but the idea is that guests can create or log in to their Spotify account, where they can then follow the collaborative playlist and add tunes.
A section at the bottom of the page shows recommended songs to add, based on the current playlist’s contents. You can also search for, then add, other songs from across Spotify’s catalog.
It would be nice if Spotify further developed this idea of connecting its collaborative playlists to events after this promo wraps, by making its own party invite landing pages that weren’t quite as bare bones as the one which the guests land on when using this feature today. In the meantime, it seems there’s not a huge advantage to using the Playlist Potluck option over using the collaborative playlists built into Spotify already, beyond participation in the contest.