5 surprising finds on Spotify you might not know about

20 Jun 2016

With more than 100m users, Spotify remains one of, if not the, dominant music streaming platform. But hidden behind the music are a number of other cool features and content you might have missed.

With more than 2bn playlists and over 20bn hours of music streamed so far, according to its statistcs, Spotify is certainly not lacking in material to keep you entertained on your commute or while you’re chilling by the pool.

The company’s investors certainly appear to believe in the Swedish company, with it revealing earlier this year that it had raised $1bn in convertible debt from investors ahead of its IPO, which is anticipated to take place some time later this year.

Future Human

That doesn’t mean much to Spotify’s 30m estimated paid subscribers, but it certainly helps with the amount of content available to them.

But, while music may be its bread and butter, did you know that there’s also a huge amount of content available that has nothing to do with music?

Here are just a few things that you can stream now, and in the near future, on Spotify, if you fancy changing up your listening habits.

Short stories and poetry

How enticing does actor Cillian Murphy reading a short story in a gravelly voice sound? Or perhaps English heartthrob Benedict Cumberbatch reading a short story about a character coming home from a rough house party?

If that sounds like your cup of tea, you might want to check out some of the strange and wonderful spoken word content that exists on Spotify.

Whether it’s a compilation playlist of some of the most famous and distinctive voices offering their services, or just to hear your favourite stories read by someone not-so-famous, it all seems to be here.


On a similar theme, there are much longer books, too, on Spotify, with plenty of the classics to choose from.

Some of the most listened to include Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Art of War.

Or you could just listen to the works of William Shakespeare if you’re looking to hear some of the Bard’s best work.

Most of them are typically spread across a few tracks, so you might want to create, or just find, a playlist that has the sections in order.

But beware all you 70m people signed up for a free Spotify account, your shuffle-only ability will make listening to audiobooks on the go rather difficult.

Learn a language

If you’re planning to head overseas this summer and want to pick up a few basic phrases in the local lingo, you could always listen to the many language aids available on Spotify for free.

Rather than just being a basic intro course, however, there’s plenty of detailed and more advanced courses, too, covering a number of the major languages, with some Irish thrown in as well.

It would be hard to argue against tapping into this rather unappreciated resource given that while there are a number of free apps out there to help you with your language skills, having it all on Spotify for no additional cost to you is pretty terrific.

Control web Spotify from mobile

Now this is handy. While only available to premium subscribers, it’s possible to control the music playing on your desktop PC from your mobile.

Much like Google Chromecast Audio, by selecting the option at the bottom of the screen to sync the two versions, you can then control everything from the comfort of your phone.

Effectively, once set up, you can turn your laptop into a portable speaker to play things as you move around the house or if you’re lazing somewhere without a pair of headphones.

Turn on private session

This is definitely for people who have what some would call an embarrassing taste in music, and are afraid to admit to it.

So say, for example, you’ve been harping on about how Radiohead’s latest album is a tour-de-force of emotion compared with manufactured pop, but you secretly listen to Pitbull every night, you can now hide your sessions.

Spotify private

It can be accessed through your profile where the option to tick or untick on a private session is available and, during that time, your history will not be registered, which is brilliant.

So now you can listen to Mr Worldwide to your heart’s content.

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Spotify mobile image via endermasali/Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic