(Pocket-lint) - Following a soft beta launch in May, Spotify is now allowing Spotify Premium users to simultaneously listen to music and podcasts with friends who aren't nearby.

What is Spotify Group Session?

  • Listen together, in real time
  • Everyone invited can control what plays.

Designed to cater to users who want to virtually socialise during lockdown, Group Session essentially lets any premium user generate a shareable link with up to five friends or family members - who also must have Spotify Premium - allowing the entire group to stream the same content in real-time. Imagine each user listening on individual devices, and each having the ability to control tracks, all from safe, socially distanced locations.

But even outside of quarantine, Group Session is a handy for long-distance couples or anyone really who wants to host a virtual music-listening party.

How to start a Spotify Group Session

Group Sessions is limited to paying users - or Premium subscribers - of the Spotify mobile app for phones and tablets. Technically, Group Session is still in the beta phase, which means it’s being tested, and Spotify warned that its features could change. To host a session, select the Connect menu, and then you will be able to start a session, which generates a shareable link that can be sent over social media or other apps. 

  1. Open Spotify and play something
  2. Tap the Connect button at the bottom of the screen
  3. Under Start a group Session, tap Start Session
  4. Tap Invite Friends
  5. Here you can:
    - Share with any social or messaging app listed
    - Choose Copy Link to send your own way
    - Show them a Spotify code which they can scan to join

What can listeners do in a Spotify Group Session?

Invited listeners can choose to listen on their own device or listen on your device and control it from their device. Plus, any person in the streaming party can pause, play, skip, select, or add tracks in the queue.

Can you chat in a Spotify Group Session?

Users will need to use a third-party solution to actually chat, as there is no built-in way to message other Premium users in a Spotify Group Session.

Writing by Maggie Tillman. Editing by Stuart Miles.