Spotify Debuts New, Improved Kids Category

(Photo: Flickr, Creative Commons)

(Photo: Flickr, Creative Commons)

Spotify has announced that it is improving its audio streaming service by launching a new and improved Kids category. This updated section of Spotify is designed to teach children vocabulary and language skills while giving parents the chance to spend more time doing activities with their children, which could be a large step forward for a company that was having difficulties contending with Apple.

Spotify has decided to focus on the 0 to 3 age range based on research finding that music is especially helpful in the formative years for brain and language development. To help parents find time to fit in the music, Spotify has included custom playlists that include car trips, bedtime, and playtime.

The playlists incorporate songs that are popular with current Spotify users, songs with styles that will promote healthy vocabulary development, songs that will work to entertain the whole family, as well as songs that are nostalgic but hold a timeless quality. These playlists will be available in English or Spanish to further facilitate increased language and vocabulary skills.

As research has shown that singing can stimulate development, Spotify has decided to partner with several early childhood initiatives such as Vroom and The Opportunity Institute. These initiatives are collaborating in a joint project called Too Small to Fail. The tracks will also include voice over prompts to do activities together such as creating a dance or asking kids what song they would like to hear next.

Vroom, a part of the Bezos Family Foundation, helped design the activities that parents could use to encourage a healthy learning environment for their children. They also provided Spotify with the resources to continue to improve on these moments and create lasting improvements in children’s lives.

Adding to the relaunch of its service, Spotify has made an effort to include some star power in its tracks. The voice overs were done by celebrities such as Wiz Khalifa, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Fantasia, Laurie Berkner, Tyler Perry, Juanes, Diego Torres, Ashley Williams, and Busy Phillips. While this celebrity lineup lends itself to a younger crowd, Spotify has also decided to include some timeless classics for the whole family to enjoy:

Kerry Steib, Spotify’s Director of Social Impact, said “Music is powerful for families in so many ways, whether they’re creating memories by singing their favorite songs together or using music to build their child’s vocabulary. As we looked to relaunch our Kids Category, we wanted to support parents and caregivers through our specially curated playlists in giving their children the best possible start in life.”

Spotify has also begun working with other organizations such as Univision, the GRAMMY Museum, Fatherly, Carnegie Hall, VH1 Save the Music Foundation, Gerber, and The Bump to continue to add more playlists. The program is also being tied in with the Family Independence Initiative to collect feedback and host signings and music activities allowing them to provide grants for those hosting these events.

This new product comes on the heels of other minor tweaks and innovations Spotify has put into effect. Last week they unveiled a video game hub designed to provide new and interesting music to game with, and earlier this month they launched new original videos – a push for a whole new look and feel to Spotify that they hope will allow them to move in new directions.