Spotify is testing a new Kid’s app for Premium Family subscribers, and it might save your sanity. The standalone app will feature human-curated music, playlists, and kid-friendly graphics. All while keeping music your little ones aren’t ready for out of sight.
Goodbye Sweeney Todd
If you want to let your young children use Spotify, you currently have two basic choices: let them use your account or create an account for them and try to curate it by hand. Neither choice is great.
Choosing to share your account with your children means you’ll find your playlists and Daily Mix suggestions taken over by Disney music and TV show theme songs.
And creating a separate account isn’t great either. Spotify’s controls for children are less than adequate. It’s only recently that the service even added explicit filters, for one. And blocking explicit songs still isn’t perfect. You may encounter some songs that should be marked explicit but aren’t yet (that’s quickly improving). And just because a song isn’t explicit doesn’t mean it’s kid-appropriate.
The above screenshot comes from a seven-year old’s Spotify account. Spotify noticed he favors Disney music, so clearly, he likes musicals. Thus it suggested music from Sweeny Todd. That’s the problem with algorithm-generated playlists and suggestions; computers don’t understand context like a human can. And that’s where the new Spotify Kid’s app (available in Ireland to start, but coming to more countries soon) comes in to play.
A Shiny App with Human Curated Playlists
The Spotify Kid’s app (available for iOS and Android if you’re in Ireland) looks completely different from the standard Spotify app. For instance, the colors are brighter, and your children get to pick a cute avatar that looks like something out of the Endless Alphabet app.
But more importantly, all the music your children will have access to is human-curated. Someone somewhere listened to the song and confirmed it’s child-appropriate. When you create your child’s account, you can choose from two age categories to determine what kind of music they can hear. The Younger Kids grouping sticks to music from Disney and children’s stories. Older kids get access to pop songs that are still family appropriate.
The app is also ad-free, and Spotify won’t sell data from it to third-party advertisers. The company did specify it will only share data to third-parties for select reasons, like connecting to your smart TV.
That makes the Kid’s app a better choice from a privacy standpoint than using a full-blown account on the official app. Spotify didn’t specify when the app will roll out to other markets, but you can keep an out at the Kid’s site for more information.