How Spotify Will Battle Taylor Swift: It’s Artist vs. Algorithm — and Big Data has the Upper Hand

A key part of Discover Weekly’s appeal is its intimacy. Spotify initially tested a 100-song version of the feature but found that combing through that many songs was exhausting for users.

At about 30 tracks, the weekly playlist isn’t too much longer than the mixtapes friends traded on cassettes and CD-Rs in generations past — there’s almost a nostalgic element to it. [“Discover Weekly] taps into a key way in which people discover new music,” says Don Knox, a senior lecturer in audio technology at Glasgow Caledonian University. “Research has shown that one of the main ways in which we discover new music is through friends and family.”

The mixes also appeal to users trying to discern what Spotify’s algorithms may have divined about their personalities. “[Discover Weekly] indicates that Spotify cares about you,” says Catherine Moore, a music business professor at New York University. ”It’s like having a friend that you check in with, and you know some things are never gonna change, but you know there’s going to be new things on a regular basis.”

Source: The Ringer

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