The personalized playlist game is heating up after the launch of Apple Music. Spotify has announced Discover Weekly today, a personalized playlist that will be sent to users every Monday morning with a selection of deep cuts and new discoveries based on listening history and other users' listening sessions.
From the press release:
For the first time ever, we’re combining your personal taste in music with what similar fans are enjoying right now. This means every song in Discover Weekly is based both on your own listening as well as what others are playlisting and listening to around the songs you love - making your playlist completely unique and full of deep cuts and new discoveries.
It’s like having your best friend make you a personalized mixtape every single week.
As your music taste evolves, so will Discover Weekly. In fact, the more you listen, the better it gets. And because it’s a playlist you can access and listen to it across all your platforms and devices. Plus, sharing it with friends or making it available offline for your Monday commute is super easy.
I had a chance to check out the Discover Weekly playlist ahead of launch. It served up 30 tracks totaling almost two and a half hours of music that ranged from dad rock, to sad rock, to hipper chillwave tracks. Some of the artists were ones that I'm closely familiar with, while others were complete unknowns to me. But all of the songs were new to me, either completely so or different versions of songs I'd heard before. From my experience, Discover Weekly fulfilled its mission of delivering songs I hadn't heard before, but would likely enjoy.
This seems like a good idea from Spotify given their tech and expertise in algorithmic recommendations, especially because it doesn't try to compete with Apple Music's combined human-algorithmic approach of the For You section yet.
It'll be interesting to see if Spotify will eventually expand editorial staff to deliver human-made picks and playlists, but until then they're going to use algorithms and users to build personalized playlists. Not surprising and likely not as unique as Apple's For You (my favorite part of the service), but probably a good option for Spotify right now.