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Spotify Debuts EdTech as Streaming Platforms Ride Lifelong Learning

EdTech, education, self improvement

Gone are the days when learning was confined to traditional classrooms and heavy textbooks. Today, knowledge is increasingly accessible to anyone with an internet connection, with digital platforms serving as the conduits of this democratization.

From music streaming services to social media giants, these platforms are not only reshaping the way content is consumed but also redefining education itself. 

Take, for instance, Spotify’s recent venture into video-based learning in the U.K., marking a significant move toward expanding its content offerings beyond music, podcasts and audiobooks. According to the streaming platform, approximately half of Spotify Premium subscribers have shown interest in education or self-help-themed podcasts, making this expansion a strategic move to cater to evolving user preferences. 

“Many of our users engage with podcasts and audiobooks on a daily basis for their learning needs, and we believe this highly engaged community will be interested in accessing and purchasing quality content from video course creators,” Babar Zafar, vice president of product development at Spotify, said in a March 25 press release

Through partnerships with leading educational tech companies like BBC Maestro, PlayVirtuosoSkillshare and Thinkific, the streaming giant now offers users access to video-based learning courses across four categories: make music, get creative, learn business and healthy living. These courses are integrated into Spotify’s mobile and desktop apps, providing users with a convenient and familiar platform to engage with educational content.

Similarly, Coursera has teamed up with beauty industry giant OLAY to address the gender gap prevalent in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education while enhancing accessibility to cosmetic science studies.

This collaboration aims to empower more individuals, particularly women and women of color, to pursue careers in cosmetic science, a field where representation remains disproportionately low. As of 2023, women constitute just over one quarter of the overall STEM workforce, Coursera said in a March 8 blog post.

To further support this initiative, the two companies plan to allocate $2 million in scholarships over three years specifically for the cosmetic science students. This funding will enable 5,000 recipients to receive a one-year subscription to Coursera Plus, amplifying access to comprehensive educational resources and professional development opportunities.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Army is gearing up to unveil a new online training platform, the Army Training Information System (ATIS), which will serve as the host for the service’s key training programs. Among these programs are the Distributed Leader Courses (DLC), essential prerequisites for noncommissioned officer promotions, as per a recent report by Military.com.

The decision to revamp the website is part of a broader effort aimed at modernizing the systems soldiers engage with daily. Many of these systems are currently outdated, the report noted, resulting in inefficiencies and subpar user experiences when accessing information.

“This technical refresh was necessary to replace the older [system] that was reaching its end of life,” Tara Clements, an Army spokesperson, reportedly told Military.com, adding that a key objective with ATIS is to address the numerous complaints about usability issues and the poor user interface encountered with the previous system.

Virtual reality and augmented reality technologies hold the promise of immersing learners in interactive simulations and classrooms, enhancing their educational experience.

In essence, with a growing emphasis on lifelong learning, digital platforms have a chance to democratize education and promote accessibility. These platforms can serve as lifelong learning companions, offering learners resources and support throughout their personal and professional development journey. 

Moreover, online learning platforms like GoStudent achieving profitability signals a significant milestone in the maturation of the EdTech industry. 

So, whether it’s through interactive video courses on Spotify, specialized programs on Coursera, or army personnel fulfilling prerequisite courses, EdTech platforms are giving learners the flexibility to choose how, when and what they want to learn.