Spotify has rolled out a slate of playlists designed to help users discover new artists from across multiple genres.
First introduced last year, Fresh Finds combines human input with algorithms to serve up an auto-generated playlist to each user’s account every Wednesday. Unlike Discover Weekly, a weekly playlist of (usually) well-known songs that are recommended based on a user’s historical listening habits, Fresh Finds is all about the latest new music from unheard-of artists.
Now, Spotify is moving Fresh Finds from where it once lived as a standalone playlist under the “Trending” section in the app, to the main Browse homepage. Additionally, Spotify is expanding the scope of Fresh Finds to include genre-specific compendiums, such as Fire Emoji (hip-hop), Basement (electronic), Hiptronix (vocal pop), Six Strings (guitar-based), and Cyclone (experimental). There is still the main Fresh Finds playlist too, which spans all five styles of music.
In terms of how Spotify arrives at its selection, well, it follows the buzz from music blogs and news sites and combines this with the listening hours put in on Spotify. Through this process, the company says it can “identify anonymous listening patterns around fans that already listen to more up-and-coming music.”
These fans are the tastemakers, according to Spotify, and Fresh Finds is the “perfect combination of man and machine,” whereby humans slot the songs into the genre playlists based on the automated system.
Spotify’s music-recommendation initiatives are powered by the Echo Nest, a music-intelligence and data company it acquired back in 2014. It’s kind of the antithesis of Apple Music’s Beats 1 radio, which leans on human curation to serve up the best new music.
“Spotify has always focused on artists and listeners, and with Fresh Finds we’re specifically looking at new creators, digging deeper to understand how undiscovered artists can attract a huge fan base,” says Dr. Brian Whitman, principal scientist at Spotify. “By analyzing the listening behavior of our top tastemaker users, we’re able to predict new breakout artists and filter their hits-to-be into playlists with the most promising new music out there.”
Spotify has been dabbling ever deeper in music recommendation as a key differentiator to wield over its competitors. Back in September, the company experimented with Found Them First, a tool that shows you the breakout artists you were instrumental in finding before they made it big. It also introduced the Mix Mates playlist generator to help friends find common musical ground.
By launching six automatically curated playlists that specifically predict the next breakout artists, Spotify is making discovery easier for people who love new music but simply don’t have the time to seek out the best up-and-coming acts.