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Spotify scientists survey listeners to tune service to their tastes


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Spotify’s data-science team have plenty of metrics to understand how people are using the streaming service, from listening patterns to how often and early they skip tracks.

Now a public user-survey being conducted by that team has highlighted another part of the story: emotional reactions.

”Some of our music scientists here @Spotify are conducting a survey about YOUR music taste. Got 2 mins? Give it a go,” tweeted Spotify’s director of developer platform Paul Lamere yesterday.

The survey gets people to log in with their Spotify accounts and then “help tune Spotify to your tastes by telling us how much you like 10 songs you’ve listened to”.

The process involves rating each song – with preview clips to jog the memory if necessary – by choosing from a series of emoji representing never, nope, meh, like and love. As a reward, users rating at least 10 songs get their own ‘You’ve Got Great Taste!’ playlist with “some tracks you’ll love” based on their profile.

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It’s an interesting glimpse at one of the challenges in streaming data-science: there’s lots of automatically-collected data, from listens to skips, indicating whether people like a song or not. But actually asking them can provide useful data too.


Written by: Stuart Dredge