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Spotify seeks more personalized playlists after Discover Weekly finds 40M users

TechCrunch TechCrunch 25/05/2016 Josh Constine

Apple Music, Tidal, and until recently, Spotify, failed at music discovery because they stuck to a blog-style format. But Spotify has cracked the code with a Facebook News Feed-style personalized, frequently updated playlist called Discover Weekly. Spotify now says the playlists have seen 40 million unique users since launching last July.

That’s remarkable for a new feature, considering Spotify has 89 million active users total. Discover Weekly analyzes your listening history, combines it with what’s hot and new on Spotify, and updates with 30 new songs you’ll likely love each week.

And it’s working. More than half of Discover Weekly’s users save at least one song and listen to at least 10 tracks each week, and come back the next week. The 25 to 34 age group is using it the most, which Spotify’s lead engineer Ed Newett says is because these are “the years after college” when your social network has changed and you’re craving exposure to new tunes like you used to get because “it’s not as easy to discover music.”

While streaming services tout catalogs of over 30 million songs, most of them are trapped behind a search box. People have a tough time spontaneously thinking of what to listen to.

But the Browse pages on the streaming services aren’t built for the modern way we listen. They look more like the old MP3 blogs before streaming emerged, full of text and requiring constant attention and clicking. Or they’re like a jukebox, visually displaying tons of different albums or themed playlists you could dive into.

Spotify realized that when people listen, they want it to be simple. Give them a selection of great songs, and just let them hit play and go back to working or working out.

It’s gone so well that Newett tells me Spotify is considering adding more personalized playlists. Specifically, one for brand new releases, and another for old hits and favorites you might have forgotten.

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