This recent Friday, the popular media company Billboard reported a noticeable change to Spotify’s platform. Some of the platforms fairly popular playlists: Beast Mode, Chill Hits, Dance Party, and Metal Ballads are all now reported to be completely personalized for a large group of users. You probably don’t understand exactly why yet, but this news is extremely impactful to the industry. What does this mean for music labels and other groups trying to land these playlists? How is this going to change the game of playlist pitching?
Official playlists now personalized
Four of Spotify’s official playlists have been reported to be personalized for its users. This means that Spotify has applied an algorithm to these said playlists, automatically customizing them for each individual user. Where there used to be identical playlist content for everyone’s listening now lies a completely unique set of songs tailored for each person who uses that playlist. Spotify has made these changes to better the listening experience of its users, and cater to their individual tastes in music.
What this means for the music industry
There are several ways you can look at this, and for one it could be a pretty helpful new feature for up and coming artists. Since personalized playlists for each user means that not everyone has the same set of songs on a playlist, there could be even more playlists spots available for even more artists. Who doesn’t want more favorable odds for landing yourself a playlist spot?
Even though this change could open up more playlist slots and allows users to easily discover the music they love, artists and music labels have expressed frustration with the update as it could really negatively impact them. If Spotify continues with this personalization, each user will no longer see and experience the same playlist as one another. This makes it extremely difficult for artists to expand their audience through landing positions on official playlists since they can no longer reach listeners on a massive scale. To put it into simpler terms, the value of landing a Spotify owned playlist becomes much smaller.
We are unsure as to whether Spotify intends on growing this new personalization or maybe even shutting it down completely within the near future - it’s all still very new and unclear to everyone. But by the looks of this new feature as well as other recent updates, Spotify continues to separate itself from competitors and is becoming a music store designed specifically for the listener. At what point does appealing to the consumer interfere with the producers ability to make a living?