Spotify might soon broadcast emergency alerts in Sweden

Hundreds of millions use Spotify for music, audiobooks, and podcasts. Now, at least in Sweden, where the app was born 18 years ago, the company is testing an emergency alert system.

Code references found within the Spotify app by Chris Messina, a technologist and reverse engineer, allegedly show that Spotify is thinking of creating a system to help distribute public announcements about serious events or disruptions of important services.

Curiously, there is no law in Sweden requiring any app to provide such a service to its users. But Messina speculated that Spotify hopes to push users to enable their app notifications.

They could be quite annoying if they come from non-essential apps, but Spotify is seeking to become an app that users simply must have on hand. Besides, users would be notified not only of emergencies but of all the app’s new features.

Spotify could also be trying to steal some users from social networks such as Meta. The latter has long offered ways for users to be updated about major disasters with its Safety Check feature.

Google also alerts users of earthquakes on Android and says that the system can actually warn users before shaking starts.

Finally, as consumers increasingly use internet-based services, US lawmakers have previously mused on requiring streaming services such as Netflix, Disney+, and Spotify to issue emergency alerts from the government.

Spotify confirmed to TechCrunch that it was testing a possible emergency alert system in Sweden. It’s not clear yet whether the feature will be rolled out in the Scandinavian country or expanded to other states later.