Spotify to roll out separate ‘Shuffle’ and ‘Play’ buttons for paying users

Credit: Shutterstock/Diego Thomazini

Spotify is rolling out separate buttons for “Shuffle” and “Play,” allowing users to choose whether or not they want to listen to an album, playlist or an artist in order on the Spotify app.

“This new change will allow you to choose the mode you prefer at the top of playlists and albums and listen the way you want to,” the company said Monday (August 1).

“Whether you love the joy of the unexpected with Shuffle mode, or prefer listening to tunes in order by simply pressing Play, Spotify has you covered.”

The feature is expected to be available in the coming weeks through updates on iOS and Android mobile devices.

But, there’s a catch. Spotify will only offer the new feature to Premium subscribers, meaning users will have to subscribe to the platform’s paid tier service before they are able to enjoy the new buttons.

The separate buttons will replace the existing single button that shuffles tracks in user-created playlists, and previously in albums until Adele called out Spotify late last year at the time of the release of her album, 30.

Spotify removed the Shuffle button from album pages in November 2021 in response to Adele’s request, but that update was also limited to Premium members.

A representative told Variety at the time: “As Adele mentioned, we are excited to share that we have begun rolling out a new Premium feature that has been long requested by both users and artists to make ‘play’ the default button on all albums.”

“As always, we will continue to iterate our products and features to create the best experiences for both artists and their fans,” the representative added.

In response to the update, Adele said: “This was the only request I had in our ever-changing industry! We don’t create albums with so much care and thought into our track listing for no reason. Our art tells a story and our stories should be listened to as we intended.”

Before making her albums available on Spotify, Adele had said that she was not a fan of streaming as a means to listen to music. In 2015, she told TIME Magazine: “I don’t use streaming. I buy my music. I download it, and I buy a physical [copy] just to make up for the fact that someone else somewhere isn’t. It’s a bit disposable, streaming.”

“This new change will allow you to choose the mode you prefer at the top of playlists and albums and listen the way you want to.


Meanwhile, the new Spotify buttons are just one of the various new strategies that Spotify is employing to get more users to go Premium.

In the second quarter of the year, Spotify Premium users jumped 14% year over year to 188 million. On a quarter-over-quarter basis, Spotify added about 4 million subscribers, topping the company’s target of 5 million new subscribers in the recent quarter.

Spotify Chief Financial Officer Paul Vogel attributed the increase to broad-based strength across regions, particularly in Europe and Latin America. An extra week of promotional activity and traction in multi-user products like Family Plan and Duo also contributed to the rise in Premium subs.

The Premium service makes up a large portion of Spotify’s revenue and gross profit. Premium revenue in Q2 surged 22% YoY to €2.5 billion, accounting for 87% of the group’s overall revenue during the period. Ad-supported revenue, meanwhile, grew 31% YoY and accounted for 123% of total revenue.Music Business Worldwide