For those of you who have known me since my Whyd days, you know that I’m obsessed with music. Whyd was a social network for sharing music and creating playlists that was focused around helping people discover new tracks by following people that shared similar tastes.

Whyd was far from perfect, but it did provide an endless stream of new tracks picked lovingly from around the web by music curators who were even more die-hard than myself. As the community manager, it was an incredible experience because I discovered amazing people through which to discover amazing music.

This was 2013 to 2015, before music algorithms had matured. At the time, any automated recommendation quickly devolved into erring on the safe side by presenting tracks from groups I already knew. Those algorithms couldn’t help me with music that just came out, fresh off the mixing board – and what about new groups releasing their first single? It was literally impossible.

Spotify has changed all of that. Spotify is the rare example of a service that has not only revolutionized an industry, but it continues to improve in such a way that it has become an indispensable part of my very being.

Over time, Spotify has gotten to know the music that I like to listen to, and each week they propose 30 new tracks to discover in my Discover Weekly Playlist. If there is something that has changed my life over the past three years other than the birth of my son, it’s my Discover Weekly Playlist.

Now I’ve been a Spotify user for many years, so Spotify certainly knows what I like. It also helps that I listened to every album in Rolling Stone’s Top 500 Albums of All Time list using Spotify, so the algorithm is very well calibrated for me in terms of personalization and quality. But what amazes me is the fact that Discover Weekly is not just recommendations of new tracks, there is also a lot of new music. I’m talking groups that are releasing their first single, or a new single off of a band’s second album. This provides a true discovery experience where I feel like I’m finding a new group before they break out onto the scene.

My music discovery routine now looks like this:

  • On Monday I open the Playlist
  • I start listening
  • When I hear something particularly captivating, I check out the artist
  • If they have a full album I switch over to listen to the album
  • Once I run out of music from that artist, I go back to the Discover Weekly Playlist
  • Repeat

I literally cannot describe how rewarding this experience is. New music completely catered to me that is effortless. And the best part? Spotify is constantly watching what I’m listening to, so the playlist gets better with time!

I already thought that having every song you want on demand was one of the breakthroughs of the Internet, but a playlist that renews itself once a week and gets better with time? If there was an award for best Internet service ever, it should go to Spotify.

There is another angle that Spotify is developing which is the Release Radar, a different personalized playlist that focuses only on new tracks from artists I already listen to. It’s not updated as regularly as the Discover Weekly playlist, but it’s starting to become another hyper-relevant destination for music discovery too.

Hats off to you Spotify!

One thought on “Spotify Has Perfected Music Discovery

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