New tools enable remote synchronized music listening

As technology enables people to choose what they want to consume when they want to consume it, modern youth are often isolated in their everyday lives while enjoying media at their own pace. To alleviate this problem, they’re seeking a greater sense of togetherness online, as made possible by digital festivals and a rise in apps that let them listen to the same music at the same time as others.


The app Playlist makes listening to music more social by letting people stream the same songs simultaneously. Users find others who share their taste in music and can join groups where their streams are synchronized; they can chat while listening, as well as collaborate on playlists. Users can follow others to discover new music and see the playlists of those they follow in their home feed. The app, which features more than 45 million songs and doesn’t require a subscription, also allows people to import playlists from other music apps to co-listen.


Six in 10 youth around the world between the ages of 14 and 34 say they can’t go a day without listening to music, as revealed in our Global Culture Forecast. The app Vertigo taps into this passion while providing a social listening experience. Vertigo users must have a Spotify Premium or Apple Music account, and from there, someone can serve as the host and invite their friends to listen in real time. Vertigo works by sharing a song’s time markers and other information within the paid streaming services, and each listener plays it back on their own device. Aside from listening together, people can group chat to express their reactions.


JQBX, AKA jukebox, integrates with Spotify to let people hear music in tandem with others around the world. Users can join public and private listening rooms where they take turns playing DJ to stream songs for all members. People are incentivized to listen to others’ music in order to discover new songs, have a more social listening experience, and meet new people. They can react to each song, learn about global music trends, and save music or entire playlists to their Spotify account. The rise of synchronized listening tools indicates that people are willing to consume content at a dictated time when given the chance to connect with and learn from others.