Rumours that the streaming giant are planning to incorporate a karaoke mode into their platform have been lent further weight by a leaked patent.
The patent, discovered by Music Business Worldwide, describes an in-app karaoke feature that will allow users to “overlay a music track with their own vocals”. This will presumably complement the built-in real-time lyrics feature which Spotify recently added, enabling a karaoke-like experience to be enjoyed directly from inside the app. The patent, filed in 2015 and only granted this month, also includes specific details on the functionality of the karaoke system, suggesting that technology will be in place that uses the microphone of a device to record, transmit and dub over a user’s vocals on top of existing Spotify tracks.
In another interesting development, it has been discovered that Spotify has further plans to offer users auto-tune functionality. There are numerous mentions within the patent of technology that “auto-tunes the vocals” and even “modulates the vocals to produce a selected sound effect (e.g a robot voice or vocoder effect”. This suggests that Spotify have an advanced karaoke system planned which will allow users to not only overlay their own vocals on a track, but apply effects and processing to their own additions. Such a feature would no doubt find extreme popularity among Spotify’s user base, and give the streaming service a serious leg up on major rivals such as Apple Music. The in-app karaoke market is currently booming in China, with Tencent Music Entertainment’s WeSing app being used to generate 10 million recordings on a daily basis. There is no doubt that Spotify are looking to leverage their existing user base and audio catalogue to take a sizeable bite of this pie and bring the feature to the Western market.