Until now, there’s been a clear split within Spotify’s own playlists: some are programmed by humans – the streaming service’s editorial team – and others by algorithms: its personalised playlists like Discover Weekly, Release Radar and Daily Mix.
Now those boundaries are blurring: some of Spotify’s human-curated playlists will now be getting a dash of algorithmic personalisation.
“Some playlists will now be personalised based on a listener’s taste which means all music has a better chance of getting into the ears of the right listeners,” is how Spotify is pitching the change to artists, on its blog.
“Some playlists will now be personalised for each listener based on their particular taste. This means that for those specific playlists, no two will be the same,” it added.
“So what does this mean for artists and their teams? First off, all music has a better chance of getting in front of the right listeners. When we tested this new system with some of our listeners, we found that they were much more likely to listen longer. Plus, these personalised editorial playlists increase the number of artists featured on playlists by 30% and the number of songs listeners are discovering by 35%.”
The company also claims that after people discover a song in a ‘personalised editorial playlist’ Spotify sees an 80% increase in the number of listeners who seek it out for repeat listens, while the average number of times they save a track grows by 66%.
As the blog post makes clear, this new system has been in tests for a while. Billboard reported on those tests in September 2018, suggesting that Beast Mode, Chill Hits, Dance Party and Metal Ballads were among the playlists getting the treatment.
Today, Spotify told Music Ally that the selection of playlists that are personalised will be “dynamic”, and will thus change and evolve over time. The company’s spokesperson added that only Spotify’s own playlists are getting the treatment – not those curated by third parties. It’s also focusing mainly on ‘moods and moments’ playlists: examples cited being Beast Mode, Songs to Sing in the Shower and Guilty Pleasures.
There’s also a tweak to the new system designed to get artists sharing these playlists with fans on their social profiles.
“When a song is added to one of these playlists, it won’t necessarily appear on every listener’s personalised version of that playlist. That’s why, starting today, we’ll create unique links to these playlists for artists to share via Spotify for Artists and Spotify Analytics,” explained Spotify.
“Anyone who clicks a unique link shared by an artist will see a personalised version of the playlist with that artist’s track as the first song. For editorial playlists that are not personalised, artists should continue to use public links as they do now.”