Wired: How Spotify help people discover music – it sounds very familiar

World: Spotify is a giant in the streaming market and besides supplying just about every track under the sun, they seem to be able to help their users find new music too. How exactly? As it is with radio, there is both tech and science behind the Discover Weekly playlist.

In an article Wired.co.uk give insight to how Spotify works. For radio the Discover Weekly is probably the most interesting feature of all. Spotify is not a threat to radio in itself, it is certainly threatening to those CD collections (or vinyl, if you’re old-school), but the Discover Weekly is pretty close to what we are doing. Helping people discover new music that is relevant to them.

On radio this discovery is made easier by the mere fact they are already listening to you. You have a set format and you can make certain assumptions based on that. The rest is up to your research of course.

How does Spotify do it then? Wired reports on the algorithm that makes it possible:

There are two parts to how the algorithm works: on one side, every week we’re modelling the relationship of everything we know about Spotify through our users’ playlist data.

On the other, we’re trying to model the behaviour of every single user on Spotify – their tastes, based primarily on their listening habits, what features they use on Spotify and also what artists they follow. So we take these two things and every Monday we recommend what we think you would like, but might not have heard about.

Edward Newett, Spotify

Not entirely different, just more specific and with the help of a massive amount of personal data.

You should really have a read of the article on Wired.co.uk (also in the UK February 2017 issue), because it will give you a sense of familiarity. The approach to the problem – find new music that suit the listener – is much the same, but the tools somewhat different.

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