Spotify fires back at Apple Music with personalized playlists

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Spotify is taking what it knows about your music tastes to curate a personalized weekly playlist.
Spotify is taking what it knows about your music tastes to curate a personalized weekly playlist.
Photo: Spotify

Spotify doesn’t want to go down without a fight.  The service is debuting Discover Weekly, a new playlist for every user that updates every Monday with unique recommendations for each person. One of Apple Music’s advantages over Spotify is its personalized playlists for users’ tastes, and now Spotify is matching it.

The playlist has roughly two hours of songs that the user hasn’t listened to on Spotify before and includes a nice mix of popular songs and deep cuts from albums.

“The original vision for Discover Weekly was that we wanted to make something that felt like your best friend making you a mixtape, labelled ‘music you should check out,’ every single week,” Spotify’s Matthew Ogle told Music Ally. His new role at the company, after coming from Last.fm, is enhancing Spotify’s discovery and personalization features.

It’s clear that the new feature is targeted directly at Apple Music. Since its debut, critics have anticipated that Spotify would either need to play hard ball to keep up or die a painful death and personalization is one area where it had room for improvement.

From day one, I was a huge fan of Apple Music’s For You tab because I’ve fallen in love with nearly all of its recommended playlists and albums. The service seems to know me pretty well, while when using Spotify I always felt like I had to put in the work to find music I like – it was never coming to me.

So far, Apple Music’s recommendations are still more accurate for me personally. I played through the 30 songs on my Discover Weekly playlist in Spotify and wasn’t as thrilled with the results, though some were good. Interestingly, both services recommended the same song to me and I happen to now love it: “Bite the Bullet” by Melanie Fiona.

Still, Ogle remains optimistic about Spotify’s future especially with personalization. “We’re just getting started when it comes to deep personalization, lots more to come,” he said.

This is another classic example of how competition fuels innovation. Keep it coming, Spotify.