Market competition has always been good for the consumers as companies always try to innovate and improve their product in order to outdo their competition. In the ever-present struggle of music streaming apps to attract new users, releasing a new feature that enhances an experience is always welcomed. Spotify’s new Release Radar feature plans to do exactly that.
This new option builds on the success of the Discover Weekly feature, which creates a playlist of tracks based on a user’s music preferences. The feature launched in July 2015 and already has 40 million users. The novelty element of Release Radar is that it tracks recently released music from a variety of artists, and it creates a tailor-made playlists of songs based on your listening habits.
Unlike Discover Weekly, which analyzes up to six months of data from a user’s music preferences, Release Radar makes use of their entire history to identify genres and artists that may suit the taste of that respective user. This is a more difficult task to get right since there is very few data on brand-new music.
According to Edward Newett, Spotify’s engineering manager in charge of the new feature:
“When a new album drops, we don’t really have much information about it yet, so we don’t have any streaming data or playlisting data, and those are pretty much the two major components that make Discover Weekly work so well.”
The feature’s task is further complicated since popular established artists tend to release albums less frequently than those who are lesser known. In the past, the job of categorizing new artists and their music was especially hard if they had similar names, and it was to the user to annotate it manually. But now, this task can be performed quickly and at a large scale by deep learning algorithms.
“We have an audio research team in New York that’s been experimenting with a lot of the newer deep learning techniques where we’re not looking at playlisting and collaborative filtering of users, but instead, we’re looking at the actual audio itself.”
If you already use Discover Weekly, then Release Radar should feel pretty familiar to you, with another difference being that it creates playlists on Friday instead of Monday.
Do you plan to use Spotify’s new Release Radar feature?
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