A Spotify test recommends user-created playlists but not from just any users

Spotify could soon recommend the most popular playlists that its listeners create in the mobile app in an effort to further aid music discovery on the platform.

A photograph showing a back iPhone with a green Spotify logo displayed on the screen, laid on its back on a piece of green fabric
Image credit: Haithem Ferdi / Unsplash
  • Spotify is testing a new feature which promises to highlight user-created playlists that have been gaining traction with other users of the platform. These playlist recommendations are found in a new carousel section in the mobile app.
  • The feature is being tested with folks in select markets, but ]Spotify wouldn’t say when it’s planning to roll it out to all users. The company could ultimately kill the test in case negative feedback prevails.
  • It’s important to note that these playlists don’t come from any users. Instead, the goal is to focus on the most popular user and influencer playlists. To ensure the editorial quality, the playlists are hand-picked by human curators who have established followings and claim popular playlists on Spotify.

Spotify testing recommending user and influencer playlists

Rather than entrust picking trending user-created playlists to the algorithm, Spotify is leveraging human curators who have a strong online presence and followings. Alternatively, they are folks who Spotify says either tell “unique stories through playlists” or are “creating authentic connections” with other users on the platform.

“As we continue to workshop the program throughout the testing period, we’ll be thoughtful in how we evolve and innovate the experience,” says the Spotify website.

Emma Roth, The Verge:

Something I’ve come to realize as a Spotify user is that sometimes my fellow listeners are a lot better at figuring out which songs mesh well on certain playlists. The algorithms powering Spotify’s “Made for You” playlists can only go so far when it comes to guessing my varied taste in music and its in-house playlists are limiting when trying to discover new artists. It’s nice that Spotify is making an effort to highlight users’ creations rather than tucking them away in search results.

If you’re a part of Spotify’s limited-time test and live in one of the “select markets,” you should be able to access these playlists via the new “Featured Curator” section in the mobile app. Read: 3 ways to set a sleep timer in Spotify on iPhone