Spotify has been changing the music game ever since it first launched in Sweden in 2008, and now it seems to be eyeing a new market: gamers. The streaming music giant just announced a partnership with Discord, a free alternative to Skype that is marketed specifically to gamers who need a way to manage voice and text chat with the rest of their team.
As Verge noted in its article on the partnership, Spotify has had an, er…spotty relationship with gamers in the past. Spotify curates many theme and event playlists, and its “gamer”-themed podcasts are legendarily terrible, full of early 2000s rock and dubstep that represents the tastes of only one segment of today’s gamers.
The Spotify-Discord partnership will offer an exciting service in the post-mixtape age: now, instead of burning a mix CD for friends–or, if you’re really old-school, a cassette tape–you can stream your favorite tunes directly into their headphones. That’s an enormous opportunity for music-evangelizing–an opportunity that’s especially exciting for indie artists, whose success depends on fans spreading the word.
As the market for video games continues to grow and the definition of “gamer culture” shifts to include casual gaming with friends as well as hyper-competitive e-sports, the market for indie music stands to grow, too. The popularity of games like Life is Strange, whose soundtrack featured indie stars like alt-J, Amanda Palmer, and Mogwai, shows just how much gamers are ready for a musical refresh. (No disrespect intended to Skrillex.)
The Spotify-Discord integration will be available in the Discord desktop app. All Spotify users will be able to broadcast what they’re currently listening to, while Spotify Premium users will be able to broadcast music to other Discord users in their group.