Searching for the Perfect Playlist? Then Read This

Music curation is a big, big deal everywhere you turn now. But where once we scoured the Internet for the perfect song, our mission has pivoted to find the perfect playlist. Is there such a thing? Is it even possible? Let’s ask Wired.

WHAT KIND OF music do you listen to? Your answer is probably something like, “Oh, a little bit of everything.” Or maybe, “Anything but country and metal.” (And polka. Everybody hates polka.) The honest truth is, you probably don’t know. You just like good stuff, and leave it at that.

If you use Spotify, it knows what you like and what you don’t like. It knows you like alt-rock, that you love the country songs you claim you hate, and that for all the game you talk, you never listen to that deep-cut Dylan record.

To prove it, Spotify is introducing a new feature today called Discover Weekly. It’s a completely personalized playlist (updated, you know, weekly) full of songs Spotify is pretty sure you’re going to want to hear. Some hits, some new stuff, that Foreigner song you’ve never been able to get out of your head. My first 29-song list has a little more girl-pop than I might have picked—but I’m digging it.

Discover Weekly is just a playlist, but it’s not just a playlist. It’s the latest move in a long-term plot to turn Spotify from a giant library of songs into something more like the always-on soundtrack of your life.

It’s no longer enough for a music service to offer unfettered access to 30-plus million songs for a monthly fee. That’s table stakes now—it’s assumed. Now the race is on to become the place for music discovery.

Keep reading.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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