Google has a tough challenge for anybody who wants to make playlists for its music service

Susan BoyleTim Whitby/GettySinger Susan Boyle

Whenever Google brings up its Apple Music and Spotify competitor, there’s one feature that it always brags about:

The incredibly specific, human-curated playlists.

Streaming service Google Play Music offers thousands of free compilations like “What would Beyonce do?” or “Hillbilly bodybuilding” that promise to capture a specific mood.

The company has an editorial calender for keeping up with pop culture events (for theme ideas) and updates its selection regularly.

Peter Asbill, who has spearheaded Google’s music efforts since it acquired his company Songza last year, gave The Guardian the inside scoop about how it selects who to hire for playlist-creation duty.

“We make curators take the Susan Boyle test,” Asbill says. “We ask these people — and remember, these are music geeks, they’re really seriously into music — to please put together a playlist that features Susan Boyle, that you think a Susan Boyle fan would love. If they can’t do that …”

The idea is that curators can’t be music snobs. Instead, they have to be able to understand all different tastes in music.

“If they can’t understand Susan Boyle, why she appeals to people and what they’re interested in, they’re not going to be a successful curator for us,” he says.

Read the rest of The Gaurdian piece here.

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