Inside Spotify’s Discover Weekly

Spotify launches new Discover Weekly playlist – Mediaweek puts it to the test

By Sally Rawsthorne
Music streaming giant Spotify has this week launched Discover Weekly, which it’s calling “your ultimate personalised playlist”. Updating every Monday, Discovery Weekly brings two hours’ worth of custom-made music recommendations tailored to your specific taste in music. The playlist is formed on what similar fans are listening to, as well as your personal taste.

At Mediaweek, we put the claim “it’s like having your best friend make you a personalised mixtape every single week” to the test:

30 seconds: Don’t like this song – too much falsetto (“Bathed in Light”, Gengahr). Click next pretty quickly.

Three minutes: This isn’t a discovery at all, I already know this song! (“First Light”, Django Django)

Three and a half minutes: The playlist is hitting its stride (“X Marks the Spot”, Ghostpoet & Nadine)

Six minutes: A real change of pace, much more upbeat than the rest of the list so far – and probably most of the stuff I listen to (“All the Time”, Bahamas)

Eight and a half minutes: YES! Something that references Kasabian with maybe a bit of Tame Impala. This is going on my permanent playlist (“Shelter Song”, Temples)

12 minutes: Sounds like my new face Dum Dum Girls – another hit.  (“Bassically”, Tei Shi)

15 minutes: Didn’t Blur disband in like, 1992? (“Lonesome Street”, Blur)

17 minutes: I know this song too, but I forgot I liked it. Thanks, Spotify (“Pools”, Glass Animals)

20 minutes: This sounds like The Cure. I should be embarrassed, but I’m not (“Under The Pressure”, The War On Drugs)

28 minutes: Another one to file away for permanent use (“Stand in Line”, Banff)

37 minutes: I actually can’t stand this artist. Skip. (“Pedestrian at Best”, Courtney Barnett)

37.5 minutes: Much better, another one for higher rotation (“I need a woman”, Hockey Dad)

40 minutes: First ad – the prevalence of ad messages is definitely less than when using Spotify in other ways

42 minutes: Another song I recognise, but don’t love (“Sea Creatures”, SOAK)

45 minutes: What is this Bollywood-esque music in my ears? I’m enjoying it, but not sure how the algorithm delivered it. (“Feel”, Bombay Bicycle Club)

49 minutes: Much more what I’d except, but after the sitars it sounds a bit dull.. maybe I need to branch out more? (“Bitter”, Palace)

54 minutes: Serious music to work to! Yet another winner (“Big Shot”, Pearls)

57 minutes: How am I on my second-last song? Two hours’ worth of music consumed in one… (“Blinded”, The Bots)

The algorithm is probably suffering from my failure to listen to Spotify every day – as they say, the more you listen the better it gets. I really liked about a third of the tracks, with a number going into permanent rotation. The other two-thirds were mainly pretty ok, with only one song I’d skip. I’ll be back next week to see what else Discover Weekly has for me.

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