Spotify’s App Critique

Harpreet Vishnoi
4 min readSep 29, 2023


Photo by Marius Masalar on Unsplash

I am music aficionado. I listen to music for more than 1 hour everyday. It helps me focus on work, workouts or even when I wake up. I use Spotify for accessing music and podcasts.Recently, Spotify’s overall experience began to degrade and hence this blog.

Pain Points

  1. As a user, I was listening to a song in an album but had to do something so closed the app. Now, when I reopen the app I hope to see:
  • My past played songs on top. Somewhere there should be a list which I can access and play. But as you can see in the screenshot below, Spotify doesn’t have that. And only your last song is available not even the album is listed.
  • For some reason Spotify is pushing podcasts over songs in the UX, top 25% of real estate is given to it. If you see Huberman Lab, The Joe Rogan Experience, Guy Kawasaki are on top but the interesting part is I haven’t heard any of those podcast in last 1–2 weeks. I have been using the application for songs only, since it helps me focus and destress. But Spotify as an app is prioritizing podcast irrespective of my recent usage. Feels like they’re force fitting their business needs over customer need, this is a red flag. (Business need >>> customers need)
  • “Your shows” another podcast screen, this feature takes over 40% of the real estate. Why would an app take their main page space and talk about something the user isn’t being doing. Spotify forces me to do 2 full scrolls to find the “Recently Played” section. (screenshot)
  • The only reason I use Spotify is my sister has a family subscription and I get premium for free but now I think is it even worth it?
  • A good strategy for any app is to make the user invest time and effort into it so when the user gets offered a new alternative they don’t move due to their past investments in the app. Good example: Imagine your photos/reels over Instagram, these photos have your friends comments and likes collected over years. Even if a better app comes in market you will continue to use Instagram because of your memories/investments associated in it. In Spotify that investment are the playlists. The more customized and tailored your playlist is, harder it is for the user to move. But in order to tailor playlist, the user needs to discover diverse and new music but discovery of music isn’t Spotify’s strong suit. “More of what you like” section which helps with discovery feature acts like an echo chambers which showcases users music similar to what the user hears everyday.

2. As a user, I like listening to Mackemore’s song. So, when I come to the artist page(find screenshot), I assume I can find all the songs listed down. This way I can have a look at all the songs, explore new songs, and identify the songs for which I can just recall fragments of their name. But Spotify only lists top 5 songs of all the artist. If you want to explore more songs of Macklemore you have to open each and every album and manually click into, scroll and back across tens of albums that can expand across decades. The UX is designed in such a way that it increases your effort in finding songs and also frustrates you because most of the time you can’t find what you’re looking for.

3. Today, I found out Spotify Premium applicable to songs and not podcasts. Can you connect why 70% of their front page is related to podcasts? Because that’s the additional revenue for them. I already paid for the premium and now podcast is how they make more money from me. Remember, business needs >>> customer needs. This focusing in vision has made cracks across all different design level and made the app less effective in its one JTBD, making user feel good.



Harpreet Vishnoi

Carnegie Mellon University| Product Manager | AI Developer