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Spotify expands its Group Session party mode

You can now share music with friends and family no matter the distance.

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It just got a little easier to listen to Spotify with friends.

Angela Lang/CNET

Spotify wants to make it a little easier for everyone at your party -- even if it's socially distanced -- to have a say in the music. On Tuesday, Spotify expanded Group Session, its group listening feature, so you can listen to music with friends and family even if they aren't in the same place. 

To start a group session, select the Connect menu in the bottom-left corner of the play screen and tap on "start a group session." You can then share the invite link with friends and family members or have them scan the code to join. Each member of the Group Session can play, pause, skip, select and add tracks to the shared queue. 

Spotify introduced Group Sessions in May. The feature lets up to five Premium users take control of the music in real time as well as contribute to a group playlist. 

At launch, listeners needed to be in the same location to use Group Session since it asked them to join by scanning a code. Now, Group Session hosts can send a link for friends and family to join, even if they're miles away. 

The music streaming service has offered limited ways to share music in the past by letting subscribers build collaborative playlists with friends and through Spotify's family plan. 

The party feature is in beta, and Spotify plans to continue updates over time based on listener feedback. Spotify Premium, which offers ad-free music and other features, costs $9.99 for an individual account or $14.99 for a family plan with up to six accounts. 

In a second-quarter earnings report on Wednesday, Spotify said its paying subscribers grew 27% to hit 138 million at the end of June. The music streaming service also said 299 million people are now using Spotify at least once a month. 

These figures cement Spotify as the world's biggest subscription music service, in front of Apple Music. Although, Apple hasn't updated the public on its membership for over a year. 

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