Spotify is probably the most popular streaming service in the world & it's ecosystem integration has everything to do with that. Spotify is available in almost all the platforms you use in your daily life & in occasional basis and it's goal is to make the music playing experience as seamless as possible. As a result, switching among your devices is just an one click or things like easy switching to car mode while driving is literally effortless. Now, Spotify is aiming to improve that experience further with "Group Sessions".
To use group sessions, you need to be a Spotify Premium subscriber. The option is currently located below the available devices menu. The feature is still in Beta but, it's does work right now.
What Is A Group Session
A Group Session is a way to share the music or podcast you're listening to with a friend or listen to whatever your friend is playing at the moment on Spotify.
When connected to a Group Session, you or your friend reach at the exact same point (progress/time) of the song that is being played on the other device. You can also control the media on your friend's device from your phone, kinda like how you control your other devices that are logged into Spotify and are currently active.
How To Connect To A Group Session
To connect to a Spotify Group Session, you need to scan the provided code on the other device if you want to listen to the music it is playing or someone else can scan your code to listen to whatever song you're playing. Do note that at least two different premium accounts are needed for this feature to work so, you you scan you're own code on another phone, that ain't gonna cut it. But, as the name suggests, multiple Premium users can be a part of the same Group Session.
This does mean that, Spotify needs to access your camera to do this but, now-a-days all major apps have access to your camera so, why not Spotify. One you're done with the scanning, you'll be connected to the group session.
How To Use Group Sessions
Right now you get access to a few new features when you join a group session. However, by default you get access to the main device (in this case the smartphone you just scanned) and you can change the track & adjust the volume from your phone if you want.
In the image above I've used this device to scan another device (the one in the previous photo) which it is now connected to. As you can see, it appears in the available device list just like your other devices. Now you can control it from your phone instead. The profile images of the Group Session member show up at the bottom to let you know who else is connected to that particular session. In this case, I've hidden the profile image of the second user in post but, you'll see the images instead.
If you want to listen to the song on your phone instead, just click on "This phone" from the list. If you have other devices like I've here, you can cast the song into one of those as well. This also works with podcasts in case you want to listen to that instead.
What You Can't Do (Yet)
There is still no option to send a Group Session invite so, someone can join through a link. That means there is no way to start a session with people who are not around you at that moment. As of now, anyone who tries to join a session, has to scan the code on their phones. This makes the feature feel like a half baked one so, Spotify should definitely add an invite option where people who are not around you, can also join your session. Maybe they shouldn't have controls for the main device but, at least they can enjoy the awesome playlist you're playing, with you, at the same time.