Music just for you – streaming platforms personalisation algorithms

January 30, 2021

Music personalization algorithms

There are so many algorithms in our daily lives, we probably don’t even know how bad it would be without them. There are some that make your daily commute to work smooth, by controlling the traffic lights. Then, there are those that make your playlists full of good music too. They’re just helpful. A personalized playlist is a unique playlist, made just for you. It's generated by an algorithm that analyzes lots of data to learn about your taste and listening habits. Thanks to it, it can suggest similar music that you might like. The more you listen to and like songs, the better recommendations you will get!

If you are into discovering new music, let’s take a look at three music streaming platforms that will create personalized playlists just for you, and the algorithm behind them.

Spotify's flagship “Discover weekly”

spotify discover weekly playlist

Who haven't heard about Spotify's "Discover Weekly" and "Release Radar"? People praise Spotify algorithm for how well it can suggest new music you should listen to. It's almost as if Spotify stared right through your soul to find what you need and want. In reality, Spotify takes into account lots of factors to deliver the songs you like. What goes into its algorithm? The songs you have on repeat, their tempo, genres you listen to, listening habits of people who have similar taste, audio features... these are just a few things that influence the Spotify recommendations. Spotify is always watching - and learning!

If you want to find new songs that fit your taste, you will love Discover Weekly - every Monday Spotify will suggest 30 new songs for you to enjoy. It's the music you've never heard before but there's a high chance you'll find some real gems. There's also Release Radar that has all the latest releases from the artists you follow (and similar artists that Spotify thinks you might like).

Youtube Music takes on Spotify

youtube music mix

Can't decide what you want to listen to? Let Youtube Music throw you some recommendations. There are some personalised music mixes to help you discover some great music that fits your taste. Discover Mix - just like Spotify's Discover Weekly - will gift you with 50 unique tracks every week so that you can expand your music horizons. New Release Mix is similar to Spotify's Release Radar which means that you can expect some fresh releases from your favourite bands and artists (or others that might be to your liking). It seems that Youtube Music is really taking some cues from Spotify.

What's more, the home tab features acitivity bar that gives your access to playlists suited to your activities, including Workout, Focus, Relax, and Commute. So when you need to wind down, simply pick Relax icon to get personalized mixes, or Workout when you need to pump some iron.

Apple Music has something just For You

CleanShot 2021-01-29 at 23.54.50@2x.png

Apple Music is trying to catch up to Spotify's personalised experience but it's not an easy task to match the superb algorithm behind Discover Weekly. Right from the start, when you create an account, Apple Music will ask about your favourite artists so they can get a hint of what you like. Your personalized station can be found under the tab "For You". Apple will give you a few personalised Mixes, such as New Music Mix, Friends Mix,orChill Mix. The recommendations will improve as the algorithm learns about your listening habits. Make sure to use the Love and Dislike rating features to help Apple Music collect data on your music preferences.

When you want to discover new music, you can also turn on live radio Apple Music 1. It's a human approach to music curation so there are no sophisticated algorithms here. Anyways, it's still worth to check it out.

Power of Personalisation

Of course we want to be served with good music. But all streaming platform have very similar catalogues with millions of tracks available to us, so how do we choose? The real battle for music streaming services is not how big their music offer is, but how well they can cater to our needs and suggest the right songs and artists. That's how they hook us in and make sure we stay on their platform. Spotify leads the way in using technology to offer personalised playlists, but it's not the only streaming service that relies on music algorithms. Youtube Music and Apple Music will also give you targeted recommendations based on your music taste.

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