What If Spotify Had Reviews And Ratings? This Is What.


I’m not going to get into everything Spotify is missing, which would intern make it the perfect service, but I will touch on a couple features that would greatly improve its usability. After writing this, I can see that these features could make a giant impact.

The Back-story To This Post

You can also just skip down to the good stuff. Something came to my attention while a particular album was playing, and I noticed it was a Live album. Spotify didn’t tell me it was a Live album. Nor did the band’s album title (which isn’t uncommon nowadays).

Some great thoughts after the break:

I then opened up Spotify’s desktop app. Clearly Spotify isn’t responsible for telling me that it’s a Live album (which isn’t the point, that would be really cool though, having that type of metadata), but while looking around for more information on the album, there wasn’t much to see at all. Aside the tracks on the album, record label (in fine print) and when it was released, there’s nothing else to learn about it. I found that saddening.

The first thing that came to mind was iTunes (when I used it). When I’d go to a band’s album page, one of the first things I saw was a description of the album, sometimes with an album “bio” from the record label.

Even if that wasn’t there I still had the reviews to browse.

2014-11-14 21_44_11-Album_ This Is Who We Are

Reviews and Ratings

It would be great to get a taste of what’s to come from a bands new material. How it relates to the band’s previous records, whether the band now sounds too mainstream or not, what they did differently, etc.

Currently on Spotify, you get a general artist bio and nothing more. Apps these days thrive on being a “one-stop-shop.” One hub for all the information you may need. If I wanted more than what Spotify gives me, I have to turn to Google.


Their Ratings system—I’m assuming—is solely based on play counts. Maybe an algorithm for playlist adds, but that’s NOT confirmed. Showing a link or widget to the playlists each song belongs to would be nice, along with a counter of how many playlist adds it has. (This is nothing big at all, but a variation of this would be nice. It’s another way to show popularity)

In a nutshell, we need a way for users to clearly determine popular songs and albums for themselves. Play count (if that’s the only variable used) isn’t too accurate. Just an idea 😉


And who wouldn’t want to see Reviews? I share a lot of music from Spotify these days. It’s the ultimate hub for bands both popular and underground. But if I want to know what someone thinks about an album, I have to ask. I’d rather see it. Plus, general public/user reviews are crucial for choosing products of any kind.

Engadget’s GDGT social network (now integrated into Engadget) comes to mind. (Did a review here) The best presentation of reviews I’ve ever seen comes from them.

2014-11-19 17_03_03-Motorola Moto G review - Engadget

They used critics and user reviews side by side, to best inform you of a product.

GDGT is/was perfect in my book. It was completely worthy of being its own social network. Why Engadget turned it into a feature, I’ll never understand.

When it comes to Music, something along these lines would be perfect.

What I’d like to know, that Reviews could tell me:

  • What critics think about the album
  • What the band thinks about the album. Hell, even the song if you really want to do some good.
  • What the record label thinks about the album.
  • What other users think about the album.

I shouldn’t have to visit Google and/or other social networks to acquire this information. Like I said, the application should be more of a one-stop-shop.

In conclusion

There’s a lot that these systems could do for the overall usability of Spotify’s apps. There’s many more, but I wanted to throw these out there for some feedback. The more I wrote about them, the more crucial they seemed.

I may revisit this in the future. It will surely be an ongoing conversation in my social media circles. Maybe with some of my other favorite apps as well.

I support Spotify 100% for what they do, and I gladly pay for a premium subscription. Anything I can do to help I guess. There’s too many good things to say about the service and its features.

What else would you like to see in your perfect Music Hub? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter!


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