Have you ever been using a music streaming service and thought: ‘Yes playlists and suchlike are good, but what I really need is the ability to take a photo and have that used to recommend music to me’? Nope, us neither. Still, Spotify clearly sees some potential in the idea: it appears to be testing exactly this feature.

Music Ally’s favourite app-cracker Jane Manchun Wong has been rooting about in Spotify’s source code again, and found the test feature to “take a photo and enjoy music matching your moment and mood, picked just for you” – complete with the promise that it won’t save or use that photo afterwards.

We thought the feature sounded familiar, and after some archives-rummaging we realised why: one of the startups pitching at 2019’s Midemlab contest had a similar idea. Spanish startup MusicList was using image recognition tech too: “You take a selfie, we understand your context, your emotions and your mood, and we give you the right music, at the right time, in real-time,” as its COO pitched at the time. It’s fair to say that Spotify has a better chance of getting this kind of thing into mass usage (if, indeed, mass users want it).

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Stuart Dredge

Music Ally's Head of Insight

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