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Spotify Daily Mix is streaming service’s latest algorithmic playlist


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Spotify has announced its third algorithmically-driven playlist: Spotify Daily Mix. It follows the launch of Discover Weekly and Release Radar.

The streaming service describes it as “a series of playlists with near endless playback that combines your favourite tracks with new songs we think you’ll love”.

So, there’s an element of rediscovery here, in a similar vein to what Apple is trying to do with the My Favourites Mix playlist on Apple Music, providing people with another way into the songs they’ve enjoyed in the past.

“Whether you’re in the mood for dancing to upbeat tunes or relaxing with mellow hits, just select your mix and enjoy your most loved familiar tracks with new music peppered in,” explained Spotify.

“As your music taste evolves, so will your Daily Mix. In fact, the more you listen, the better your Mixes will become – offering an effortless music experience based entirely on your personal listening habits.”

One of the interesting features: the ability for Spotify listeners to “ban” a track from future playlists. This isn’t a new thing in the wider context of streaming music – thumbs downs have been part of personal radio services for years – but for Spotify it’s the first expansion of the capabilities of its playlist format, beyond simply a list of songs.

Spotify’s Matt Ogle hinted at these plans in an interview with Music Ally earlier in the year, when talking about the limitations of the playlist format in its existing state.

“If we get a recommendation wrong you can’t tell us, and if you share Discover Weekly it’s just called ‘Discover Weekly by Spotify’. Hopefully your face is on it, but beyond that you can’t really tell whose is whose,” he said. “We want to play with the playlist format a bit. It’s not the right tool for every job.”

At the time, Ogle also explained to Music Ally his plans for Daily Mix, in comments unpublished until today.

“It’s sort-of imagining in some ways what an inverse Discover Weekly looks like. Something especially for more casual fans who as we grow are making up a growing piece of the pie of listeners,” he said.

“The idea is a one-touch world. ‘Hey Spotify, take the wheel, play me some good stuff’. It’s a feature that essentially flips Discover Weekly on its head. What if, instead of being hyper-personalised in terms of stuff you haven’t heard, we could create a series of listening experiences for you, hyper-personalised based on the stuff we know you love, and then mix a bit of discovery in?”

At the time, Daily Mix was going to be based on splitting an individual listener’s habits into different “zones or areas or clusters – based on the relationships between artists, but not strictly genre-based” according to Ogle.

“For now, we’re just calling them Daily Mix 1, Daily Mix 2, Daily Mix 3 and so on. But what I’ve noticed is when we show them to people, and we list a few artist names in each one, people are like ‘oh okay, that’s my 70s smooth one, that’s my disco one…’.

So we are pulling in pools of songs in each of the areas of your taste that we know you love, and then sprinkling in some new stuff. We are experimenting a little bit with sequencing in the way a radio DJ might: let’s follow something we know you love with something from an artist you haven’t heard, followed by something from an artist you do know, but a song you haven’t heard.”

For now, the Daily Mix is only available in Spotify’s Android and iOS apps, for both free and premium users, with other platforms to follow “soon”. The feature is rolling out over the next 24 hours: some users have got it already, while others are still waiting.

Stuart Dredge

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