Spotify is rolling out a new feature designed to get users to spam Twitter. The Tweet the Beat feature started appearing on the weekend, and it automatically displays a fullscreen pop-up ad for mobile Spotify users with pre-populated text and a button to tweet Rihanna with a thanks for her "Bitch Better Have My Money" single. Spotify is also displaying the same pop-up on desktop clients, encouraging users to fire off tweets. The pop-ups appear randomly when searching for or playing music. While Spotify's free service includes ad-supported streaming, its premium subscription ditches ads altogether for a $9.99 monthly fee. Spotify premium users will also receive Tweet the Beat ads.
A Spotify spokesperson confirmed the new feature to The Verge, noting that it started rolling out on Saturday with just Rihanna involved so far. "What you're seeing is a new feature called Tweet the Beat which lets listeners express love and appreciation towards the artists they follow or listen to often, and has been designed as a great way for fans to get closer to their favourite artists."
A bad way to avoid another Taylor Swift situation
The new feature feels more like a great way for Spotify to get closer to users Twitter followers, or an attempt to show an artist why they need to keep their music on the service. Spotify's timing coincides with the relaunch of Jay Z's Tidal music streaming service, which has the backing of big name artists like Rihanna, Beyoncé, Daft Punk, and more. By encouraging users to spam Twitter, it looks like Spotify is trying to avoid another Taylor Swift situation. Rihanna released the studio version of her new "American Oxygen" single on Tidal exclusively last week, and it's not currently available to stream on Spotify.