Unlocking exclusive access has been a long-held promise of a lot of NFT-based communities. And now, Spotify is helping some of them realize that claim with token-gated playlists.
According to a series of tweets by Kingship, a metaverse band signed to Universal Music Group (UMG), the streaming company is piloting playlists that could be unlocked through NFTs in certain geographies. Under the pilot, Kingship has released a special playlist that could be accessed only by Kingship key card NFT holders.
The group posted a series of steps that involves linking a crypto wallet like Metamask, Trust Wallet, Rainbow, Ledger Live, or Zerion to authenticate the NFT that unlocks the playlist. Kingship said that currently, this experience is only available to Android users in the U.S., the U.K., Germany, Australia and New Zealand.
The fact that iPhone users can’t access the feature is not surprising given that Apple released a bunch of rules restricting the functionalities of NFTs last October.
As first spotted by Coindesk, apart from Kingship, other communities like Overlord, Fluf, and Kevin Rose’s Moonbirds are also publishing playlists that could be unlocked by their token holders.
Spotify confirmed this pilot by commenting on Overload and Kingship’s tweets without giving out further details. The company told TechCrunch in a statement that this is one of many tests on the platform.
“At Spotify, we routinely conduct a number of tests in an effort to improve our user experience. Some of those end up paving the path for our broader user experience and others serve only as important learnings. We have no further news to share on future plans at this time,” a Spotify spokesperson said.
The company also specified that this service is for Spotify Premium users only. It added that these playlists will be updated throughout the three month testing period.
The announcement of the NFT-gated playlists pilot comes just before Spotify is set to hold its Stream On event on March 8. On Wednesday, Spotify also announced an experiment with an AI-powered DJ that curates music for users.
Token-gated playlists are not Spotify’s first rodeo with NFTs. In May 2022, the company experimented with a profile feature that let artists promote their digital art. Last year, it published web3-related job listings in the engineering and marketing departments.
But, since then, the global economic conditions have changed. Many companies, including Spotify, have laid off a ton of people and shelved multiple projects. Plus, crypto markets and companies are facing tough times. Amid all this, a lot of companies have stopped talking about their web3 ambitions.
This pilot indicates that Spotify might have tech ready to offer more content, including songs, albums, or podcasts that could be token gated. Hopefully, the company will talk more about it at its upcoming event.