With competition rearing its head from Apple Music, Spotify have introduced a new feature. Discover Weekly. A weekly playlist put together by, I assume, an algorithm buried away in Spotify which look at what you’ve listened to and comes up with other bands that it thinks you might like. It’s a nice feature for those wanting to move outside of their musical comfort zone, but does it really work?
Well, yes and no. My weekly playlist of 30 songs is a mixed bag and to be perfectly honest that’s what you’d expect. I listen to a lot of crap on Spotify and presumably some of that gets mixed into the algorithm and chucks in some stuff that I’d never listen to in a million years. The ten seconds I heard of Atilla’s ‘Hate Me’ when I had it on shuffle was bad enough.
Then there is a lot of stuff that seems a bit obvious. Bands like Architects, Kreator, The Defiled and Enslaved. I am well aware of these groups and I’m pretty sure that I’ve listened to at least a few of them on Spotify before. Obviously if I’ve only listened to them outwith Spotify then they can’t be expected to predict every single band that I am likely to have listened to before. However, how many people with my listening background would have not checked out those bands? I’m sure there are some, but they would be the minority.
Where the real interest in Discover Weekly will come though, is whether the stuff you haven’t heard of before is worth your time and whether Spotify’s recommendations actually manage to capture your taste in music. And the answer is yes, it does more often than not.
My playlist threw up a whole host of genres and interesting bands to check out. The likes of Creeper, who have been getting a bit of hype recently, were on there. While more obscure acts like technical death metal merchants Allegaeon stood beside them. Those bands probably couldn’t be on more opposite sides of the genre, but both fall nicely into my musical spectrum.
They’re not the only bands to have tickled my fancy. Black Map and Crobat also made appearances and both grabbed my attention. While a few other highly hyped bands like The One Hundred and Young Guns show up. It’s a nice mixture of bands I’ve never heard of and more recognisable names.
Discover Weekly achieves its main goal, it gets you listening to music that you might not stumble upon by yourself. If nothing else throwing it onto shuffle and letting it play until you find something you like and want to explore a bit more will find you a couple of bands you might not have found any other way. Most importantly, it doesn’t throw up anything completely inappropriate. Even the likes of Atilla, while definitely not for me, do fall within the bracket of music I listen to. It’s a smart and relatively simple new feature from Spotify, that might just introduce you to your new favourite band.