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September Digital Digest: Spotify, TikTok and Digital Wallets

5 min read.



Spotify Launches ‘Blend’ Its Newest Personalisation Service

Spotify has globally rolled out  its new shared playlist feature called ‘Blend’ to all users. Blend was originally launched in beta testing in June and is now available globally after much success.

The feature allows two people to combine their favourite songs into one shared playlists. The feature is available to both free users and paid subscribers.

Users will now get a “taste match score” that shows them how similar or different their listening preferences are when comparing to their friends.  This taste match score is demonstrated as a percentage and will also have text featuring which songs bring them together.

Premium users will have an additional benefit of having the ability to see whose music taste contributed to each song in a playlist.

The new feature isn’t only serving as a fun addition to Spotify. It will also be used as a user acquisition strategy. Since the feature is available to both free and premium subscribers, the feature can serve as a means of enticing someone to join Spotify for the first time. Ultimately the goal is to  grow the overall user base of the audio platform.

New features such as Blend continues to place Spotify as a key player in the audio space with user engagement and personalisation at the forefront of new developments.

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TikTok Expands E- commerce Options

TikTok have announced that they are expanding their e-commerce capabilities and partnership with Shopify, as well as launching a test pilot of TikTok Shopping among selected Shopify merchants. This is all set to take place in the U.K, U.S and Canada in the coming weeks.

The social content and video creation platform first launched its partnership with Shopify last October. They introduced tools that allowed Shopify merchants to create, run and optimise their TikTok marketing campaigns directly from the Shopify dashboard. The integrations were also added to the TikTok For Business Ads Manager.

The partnership expansion announced will take the existing capabilities one step further. Shopify merchants now having the capability to add a “Shopping” tab to their TikTok profile as well as syncing their product catalogue to create mini–storefronts on their brand profiles.

Another new feature of the extended partnership includes allowing Shopify merchants to add product links that can be used to tag products within TikTok videos. This will allow TikTok users to click the tagged product and then be directed toward the merchants storefront for checkout.

Harley Finkelstein, president of Shopify, said:

“By enabling new in-app shopping experiences and product discovery on TikTok for the first time, Shopify is powering the creator economy on one of the fastest-growing social and entertainment platforms in the world. We are excited to help this next generation of entrepreneurs connect with their audiences in more ways—and with TikTok as a visionary partner”.

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Australia Considering New Laws For Digital Wallets

The Australian Government are considering introducing new laws that would tighten the regulation surrounding digital wallets and payment services.

Payment services from Apple Pay, Google Pay and China’s WeChat Pay, have all experienced rapid growth in recent years. However, such systems are not currently designated as payment systems meaning they are outside of the regulatory system.

Josh Frydenberg, Australian Treasurer has stated that he would “carefully consider” new laws surrounding such payments as well as delving into whether or not the systems have kept pace with advances in technology and changes in consumer demand.

“Ultimately, if we do nothing to reform the current framework, it will be Silicon Valley alone that determines the future of our payments system, a critical piece of our economic infrastructure,” Frydenberg said recently.

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), which is currently in charge of designating who is verified as a payment services provider, reported that payments through digital wallets had grown to 8% of in-person card transactions in 2109, up from 2% in 2016.

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia, which has estimated that digital wallet transactions more than doubled in the year to March to A$2.1 billion, has urged regulators to address “competition issues” and consider the safety implications of their use.

The exact outcome of introducing new laws is very much to be confirmed however if new laws are introduced it will be interesting to see if other countries follow suit.

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