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The story behind Spotify’s big redesign

The story behind Spotify’s big redesign

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My interview with product chief Gustav Söderström, feedback from last week, SXSW tips, and more.

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I spent yesterday at Spotify’s offices in downtown LA hearing CEO Daniel Ek and other execs pitch the app’s biggest redesign in years. The headline is that it introduces a TikTok-like visual feed to the main tab for discovering new music via clips, podcasts, and, yes, video. “This is about bringing Spotify to life,” Ek said during the unveiling.

Given the attention on Spotify’s changes this week, I’m trying something new and devoting most of today’s edition to an interview I did yesterday with Gustav Söderström, Spotify’s co-president who oversees all of product and engineering. He surprised me with the reason for introducing a visual feed and what it’s optimized for. He also explained the reason for changes to the company’s structure in January that saw him elevated to the role of co-president alongside Alex Norström, who manages the business side of things.

My full conversation with Söderström will air next week on Decoder, my boss Nilay Patel’s excellent podcast. In the meantime, I’m giving you the exclusive first look at the highlights of what we discussed. (My colleague Ariel Shapiro also teased part of the conversation earlier today in Hot Pod, her must-read newsletter about the podcast industry.)

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