March 28, 2016:Spotify survey hints at more feedback for playlist creators

Spotify may be planning to give playlist creators on its platform more feedback on how their collections are being listened to and enjoyed. Or, indeed, not enjoyed.

Some users of the music-streaming service (including us) have been emailed a link to a survey about playlists, with its questions mooting the idea of more ways to provide feedback.

The survey asks people whether they create and share playlists themselves, as well as whether they listen to those created by other people – with multiple-choice questions for each usage example.

 

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The most interesting ones from Music Ally’s perspective include a question about what people “currently know about how other people use your playlists” with this selection of possible answers:

  • I know if other users like my playlists
  • I know when other users dislike a song in my playlists
  • I know who follows my playlists
  • I know how many followers I have
  • I know when other users listen to one of my songs
  • I know when other users add one of my songs to their playlists
  • I know when other users like a song in my playlists

A follow-up question asks how interested respondents would be in:

  • The songs that have been most listened to in my playlist
  • The songs that have been least listened to in my playlist
  • If users skipped a song while listening to my playlist
  • What other users think about my playlist
  • When someone listens to one of my playlists
  • How many times my playlists have been played
  • If users listening to my playlists like the songs in them
  • If my friends like a playlist I shared with them
  • When someone follows one of my playlists
  • If someone added a song from one of my playlists to one of their playlists
  • Who my followers are

As things stand, Spotify provides a growing depth of analytics for artists and labels with music available on its service, but relatively basic stats to playlist creators. Making some or all of the data points above available would be a big improvement for people trying to build audiences for playlists on Spotify.

Respondents to the survey are also asked about their likely behaviour as listeners if they could provide more feedback on playlists.

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“Would you tell the person who created the playlist if you like a song?” asks one question, with answers including:

  • Definitely
  • Yes, but only if they had asked for my opinion
  • Yes, but only if my opinion was anonymous
  • Absolutely not

And the same options for a question about whether they’d tell a playlist creator if they didn’t like a song.

The usual caveats apply to all this: technology companies regularly run these kinds of surveys to gauge their users’ appetite for new features, but they can never be taken as proof that the features described in the questions are guaranteed to launch.

Even so, Spotify is clearly thinking hard about a better feedback loop for playlists on its platform. That’s something Spotify product manager Matt Ogle had already confirmed in a recent interview with Music Ally Spotify’s desire to explore beyond its current basic playlist format.

“If we get a recommendation wrong you can’t tell us,” he said of Spotify’s own Discover Weekly playlist. “We want to play with the playlist format a bit. It’s not the right tool for every job.”

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Stuart Dredge
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