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Spotify Is Beta Testing A Custom AI Playlist Feature

10 April 2024 | 11:32 am | Ellie Robinson

The beta is currently available for Premium subscribers in Australia.

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek (Supplied)

Spotify and AI are a match made in whatever a generative algorithm would imagine to be “heaven”: the streaming giant has officially unveiled its latest AI concoction, which allows Premium subscribers to create their own themed playlists.

Plainly billed as Spotify’s AI Playlist feature, the new tool is similar to the Daylist in that it automatically generates hyper-specific playlists tailored to the user’s personal tastes. The difference here is that users can input their own prompts to generate playlists based on unique themes, while themes generated by the Daylist feature are randomised (albeit based on the user’s listening habits).

The new feature is currently in beta testing for Spotify Premium subscribers in the UK and Australia, and is accessible through the Android and iOS apps. In a press release, Spotify said it will “continue to iterate and innovate on the experience” as data is collected through the beta.

The company says it utilises “powerful personalisation technology” in tandem with its generative AI to process the playlists, and showed some examples of what kind of prompts work best – ask it for something like “an indie folk playlist to give my brain a big warm hug”, “relaxing music to tide me over during allergy season”, “sad music for painting dying flowers”, “tracks for horse riding into the sunset”, or “a playlist that makes me feel like the main character”.

Acceptable prompts can reference anything from places, animals, activities and movie characters to colors and even emojis. Spotify says the best way for users to generate a successful playlist is to use a prompt that utilises “a combination of genres, moods, artists, or decades” (ie. “an energetic soundtrack for an ‘80s-inspired action movie about a group of feisty teenagers who band together to stop AI from destroying the world – and its job market”).

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Playlists generated through the tool can be customised by the user, either manually or through additional prompts (such as “more pop” or “less upbeat”).

“At Spotify,” the aforementioned press release notes, “we aim to deliver the right piece of music for that exact moment in time. With AI Playlist in beta, we’re excited to give Premium subscribers in the UK. and Australia a new way to discover music. Over the coming months, we look forward to continuing to iterate on this new feature to best serve our listeners.”

Spotify’s new AI Playlist feature joins its growing suite of AI-powered features, which in addition to the aforementioned Daylist feature includes the Song Psychic (which launched just last month) and DJ tools. It comes as the company continues to evolve its current market offerings – which in the coming months could include “superfan clubs” and “alternative app stores”.

Meanwhile, it was announced last month that Spotify would be raising the price of subscriptions in Australia, less than a year after its last major hike.