Spotify’s AI steals human curators’ thunder

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The Future. Human-curated playlists used to be a kingmaker at Spotify, but the music streamer is recently favoring AI-generated playlists as a way to hyper-personalize discovery for users and compete with TikTok. As playlist personalities are muted and curation becomes one-size-fits-one, the ability to platform potential hits may be harder to accomplish.

Playlist generation
Spotify playlists are hitting the assembly line with some new features, both internal and customer-facing.

  • Spotify crafted an automated pitching form for playlist inclusion, downplaying the individuals responsible for playlist curation — the company doesn’t want curators claiming ownership of song choices.
  • The streamer also introduced a system where employees tag songs to help them funnel to personalized playlists.
  • Some human-curated playlists have even shifted to algorithmically-generated ones — this has even applied to popular playlists like “Housewerk” and “Indie Pop.”
  • Spotify also rolled out a new tool called “Discovery Mode,” through which an artist’s team can submit songs for extra algorithmic pushes in exchange for a smaller royalty rate.

The AI-transformation comes just as Spotify’s playlists are somewhat losing their power — labels, managers, and other insiders report that streams are down between 30 and 50% of what they used to be in their heyday. 

No reign lasts forever.

David Vendrell

Born and raised a stone’s-throw away from the Everglades, David left the Florida swamp for the California desert. Over-caffeinated, he stares at his computer too long either writing the TFP newsletter or screenplays. He is repped by Anonymous Content.


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