Spotify is proving that it doesn’t take a small army of human editors to build the perfect playlist.
On Monday, the Apple Music rival unveiled Discover Weekly, a unique playlist tailored specifically for each one of its 75 million users.
The Discover Weekly playlist is about two hours long and updated each week. It’s an attempt from Spotify to differentiate itself from the newly-launched Apple Music, which relies on people to build its playlists.
Apple’s acquisition of Beats Music gave the company a stable of music industry aficionados who build boldly opinionated playlists like “Rappers Criticised by Bill O’Reilly.” Apple Music’s playlists feel like you’re getting suggestions from the old record store owner who knows way more about music than you and doesn’t have a problem telling you what to play next.
But as Spotify knows well, sometimes the best person to determine what you should listen to is you.
Every song in Discover Weekly, which you should start seeing at the top of your playlists on both mobile and desktop, is based on your listening habits as well as on what others are playing before and after the songs you listen to. A fresh playlist is delivered every Monday morning with around 30 new songs, many of which Spotify says will be “deep cuts and new discoveries.”
I got to listen to my Discover Weekly playlist this morning, and it mostly consisted of mellow, moody R&B-inspired tracks. Given that I mostly listen to Spotify while working, it felt very inspired by what I would normally play. But nearly all the tracks were songs I’d never heard before and enjoyed hearing for the first time.
I’ve been a paying Spotify subscriber for years, but I’ve been trying out Apple Music during its free trial. I switch back and forth between the two services, and I’m still on the fence about which service I like better. But if Spotify can keep making its playlists better with new offerings like Discover Weekly, I may end up sticking with Spotify in the long run.