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Launching Music Videos in Spotify

role —

User Researcher

Interaction Designer

Visual Designer

tools —





User Research


2-week sprint



UI + Visual Design


summary —

Spotify is a digital music, podcast, and video streaming service that gives you access to millions of songs and other content from artist all over the world. While video streaming is included in select content, music videos still remain unseen in the application. Canvas was the first step to video viewing for Spotify, only showing eight second loops of select songs.


How could we seamlessly introduce music videos to increase engagement and overall revenue? 

My team looked to improve Spotify's existing application by extending its feature set to allow users to do their listening and viewing all at the same time. 

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With competitors unlocking the potential for audio and music videos, Spotify has an opportunity for market expansion and additional revenue sources. How could we enhance engagement and lessen platform-switching for users as well as provide an additional creative outlet for artists?

Spotify users are loyal to their favorite streaming service but did feel there was an important medium missing. With a majority of users frequently watching music videos, platform-switching was frustrating as they wanted to do their streaming all in one place. Spotify has been featuring video viewing on select content and users want music videos to be included from their favorite artists and added into their curated playlists. 

With competitors widening their offering to accommodate users' needs, our team felt that this feature addition would not only benefit it's users but the company as a whole. With a reported 180 million mobile video viewers in the U.S. in 2020, Spotify could begin to explore other avenues of revenue through media partners, advertising, and market expansion.

the best of both worlds 

Our goal for this project was to unite listening and watching all within Spotify. This meant our users would stay on Spotify's platform and would save them the time and frustration of switching between screens. We implemented the music videos feature consistently throughout Spotify for ease of use and stayed on brand so the addition wasn't intrusive to their daily flow.

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before  No indication of existing video content on Spotify's platform. 

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after  Music video content featured within each section of Spotify to cater to each user and how they discover music. 

users set the record straight 

After discovering pain points from usability testing, our team wanted to gather deeper insight into the problem. We conducted 8 user interviews to learn from existing users of the platform, users with experience in VR and 3D modeling, and brand new users. 

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unlocking opportunities for spotify 

My team's main focus was improving the user experience but we also saw the potential business opportunity for Spotify. We wanted to kick off secondary research 

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Highlights from market research

These findings surprised me as market research clearly revealed that the introduction of podcast video content helped increase the user base and overall revenue in 2020. Next, we completed a feature analysis to compare Spotify's direct competitors and what is offered through their respective platforms.

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Feature analysis revealed where Spotify is lacking amongst competitors

I was able to uncover areas of improvement for Spotify as a platform. Currently, Spotify does not offer music videos and exclusive releases compared to it's competitors.

implementing music video content 

I created user cards after exploring the interface and studying the overall user experience in regards to music videos. I was able to compare how each of Spotify's direct competitors implemented the video content to see how Spotify could elevate those additions on their platform.

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In-depth analysis of user cards from direct competitors to help us find the best implementation of music video content.

listening and learning from users 

My team conducted 9 user interviews to learn from existing Spotify users about their streaming and music video viewing behaviors. Through affinity mapping, we identified insights into the need for implementing music videos and what drives users to consistently watch.

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By using an affinity map, I was able to identify the user needs and how I might be able to improve video implementation and interaction.

browsing and prioritizing insights 

After collecting and synthesizing research, we were able to better understand how users use Spotify and their motivations toward using a music video feature. Based on the most frequently mentioned insights, we found 5 consistent trends amongst users and how music videos should be implemented into the platform.

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discovering two proto-personas 

Next, we created two proto-personas, "Bec" and "Tucker", based on the findings from the affinity map. With each persona, we can better empathize with the target users when creating our music video design.

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uniting user and business needs 

When moving forward on this project, we knew that we had to consider each area displayed in the Venn diagram below - user goals, business goals, and technical constraints. We wanted to be realistic with the implementation of music videos and prioritize ideas at the intersection of both.

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our goal — one place for listening and watching

mapping out feature placement 

After assessing business goals, user goals, and technical constraints, I created an app map to visualize where we would integrate this new feature. During user research, we discovered that users' searching habits varied depending on the context of using Spotify. We took this into consideration and created personalized sections, playlists, and recommendations and placed them within each navigation tab. We ultimately wanted to make this feature discoverable without being intrusive.

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App map of Spotify showing locations of music video feature

launching full length 

music videos 

The central feature of this project was the addition of music videos. We wanted to make this transition seamless to reduce any friction with this feature update. Based on research of Reels, users wanted the option for the full length music video. Keyword here is "option" as many users wanted the choice to view music videos instead of the existing feature which is set to auto play.


With the knowledge that Spotify had released select video content on podcasts, we wanted to reimagine the way it was done. Many users did not know video content was even available on the platform so we set out to implement the music video element where it was easily accessed by users.

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discovering music videos using search 

I began brainstorming how to seamlessly introduce music videos into search. I knew consistency of the new feature was important as users find music in different ways - home page, search, playlists, etc. With the addition of a music video section on the home page, I followed Spotify's lead with implementing podcasts and created a music videos category. I also created music video playlists that aligned with our user's viewing behavior - artists and top trending music.

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increasing engagement through artist feature 

With users' viewing behavior directly correlating to their favorite artists, I created a new section on the homepage so users could easily discover music videos based on their past listening behavior. During our research phase, Spotify users praised their recommendation algorithm so this seemed to be a no-brainer for me when creating this. 

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viewing music videos

in playlists 

With users discovering new music through popular playlists such as "Discover Weekly", I had to consider the two different ways to view music within Spotify - song view and playlist view. With research being split on whether music (songs) and music videos fall under separate categories, I fell back on previous research on podcast video content. Podcasts currently group audio and video together but users were unaware that video content was offered at all. Moving forward, I decided to separate the two by following Spotify's existing tab structure and I added clear labels so users knew about this new feature.

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iterate, iterate, iterate 

My team participated in a design studio where we shared sketches on how we would tackle our key insights. We explored different ways a user would be able to view music videos: toggle button, icons, and tabs. We also took into consideration how users view content - song view and playlist view. From there, it was a matter of introducing new categories that fit seamlessly with the existing structure and appeared on brand with Spotify.

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After conducting a design studio with many iterations and ideas, we were ultimately focused on implementing this feature seamlessly within the platform. 

breaking down the user flow 

Keeping in mind what we heard in user interviews, I mapped out scenarios that our users run into with the addition of the incorporated feature.

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User flows for two scenarios

navigating to "discover weekly" 

We then decided to focus on one scenario/flow as this was the most frequently mentioned during our user research. This helped me create the screens and interactions I needed to design.

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Task flow for discovering and playing music videos

mapping out designs —

After further collaboration and laying out designs, I started bringing everything to life using Figma. I would share my designs with my team, get feedback, and continue with another round of iterations. 

The initial challenge was creating a seamless transition between songs and music videos and how this could easily understood by users. From the initial sketches, I began brainstorming different ways this could be presented to users. Working in tangent with my team, we found a solution that we felt would be the most discoverable and provide that ease of use our users wanted.

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testing, testing 1 2 3

Using our prototype, we conducted one round of usability testing with 5 users to ensure our new feature fit seamlessly within Spotify. Our users praised our designs and the only concerns that arose were technical. Users wanted to ensure that switching would be seamless and that videos would disable while driving. These were all important insights and things we would consider for future iterations.

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Quotes from users during usability testing


The experience of working with a whole team of designers fortified my belief that different perspectives can only add in creating a beautiful yet functional user experience. My two teammates were always there to ideate with and improve upon any existing designs.

Through numerous feedback sessions and iteration upon iteration, I've learned that design work is never truly done and can always be improved upon. This is something I love as I can flex my curiosity muscle and continue to question how to create a better user experience moving forward.

Working on a large brand like Spotify, this helped me learn to adapt to existing design systems, content, and to leverage existing branding. This allowed consistency and gave me more mental space to focus on the users.

building for the future 

Additional features:

  • Further testing and iterations to continue to improve the user experience

  • Focus our research efforts on artists to see what would improve their experience

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