After patting itself on the back, Spotify got around to announcing a new feature to help users discover new music and new artists that goes well beyond its existing Radio product. Rather than a traditional "you like this, so you might also like this" model (the one implemented by Amazon that constantly feeds you piles vaguely associated products), the company is aiming to dig deeper and provide context. A new Discover tab has been added to the player, including its web player beta, that recommends artists and provides reasons for the selection. There's much more than just a link to an artist's library, it offers a quick explanation of why it was selected along with a short bio, reviews from sites like Pitchfork and the ability to add them to your Collection (another new feature, more on that later) with one click. The recommendations don't end with artists or albums though; apps like SongKick can automatically suggest concerts in your area
Collection is a quick and easy repository for all the artists you follow and albums you want to listen to on a regular basis. Rather than add albums as a playlist, you add something to your Collection, which is much closer to say an iTunes library than the rather messy system currently in place. It should make organizing your world of tunes much easier.
After last year's experiment with Facebook integration, Spotify has decided to really up its social efforts with "Follow." The concept isn't terribly different from Last.FM or other social music services, though the company is touting the ability to not just connect with your existing friends, but also musicians and celebrities. By following people like Barack Obama and Bruno Mars you can see what they listen to when celebrating their electoral victory or composing their next album. The follow feature even extends to the mobile apps, where artists can push alerts to users to let them know the moment a new album drops. None of the new features are serious game changers, but they're all welcome tweaks that add a lot of polish to one of the top music streaming platforms out there. Sadly, you'll have to wait until 2013 as the new features will be in beta until next year.
Music discovery on Spotify gets personal
Finding the music that fits your life just got a whole lot simpler...
December 6, 2012: With great power comes great responsibility. Snoop Dogg or The Stones? Ed Sheeran or Shakira? Marley or Metallica? Sure, millions of songs in your pocket has changed the way you listen to music, but can you figure out what to play on a lazy Sunday afternoon?
From today, music discovery becomes truly personal. It becomes central to the Spotify experience as the service brings artists and fans closer together than ever before.
Spotify's latest, greatest upgrade will see a whole host of powerful discovery features introduced across its desktop, mobile and new web player platforms over the coming weeks.
"Users tell us they don't know what to listen to, and artists tell us they want to connect more closely with fans" says Daniel Ek, CEO and founder at Spotify. "So we're creating a new and personalised way of finding great music."
Here's what's coming...
Introducing the all-new Follow tab. Now you can get music recommendations from only your most trusted musical influences. Follow friends, artists, influencers and media to get updated on what they're listening to in real time.
The Follow tab also highlights your Facebook friends and recommends people you may find interesting. Plus you'll be able to see who you follow and who follows your profile.
· Simply click on the Follow button of friends, artists, trendsetters, editors and experts to connect with the people who turn you on to the music you love.
Artists can now share their music with the world like never before.
Want to hear Obama's playlist as he prepares for a big speech? Or check out what David Guetta is listening to this week? Now you can. Artists, celebrities and media from around the world are ready to share their music with you, including:
Florence and the Machine
Also making its grand debut: the all-new Discover tab. Your hunt for the right music is over. Combining the best technology and social tools with content from Pitchfork, Songkick and Tunigo, and many more, Spotify's Discover feed continually seeks out the most relevant content and brings it right to you. The page will include:
· New single and album releases from the artists you follow
· All the music and playlists shared by influencers you follow
· Intelligent recommendations based on your listening history including music, reviews, and concerts
Plus, we've made a ton of additional improvements:
· Introducing Audio Preview – with our new Audio Preview feature you can dip into new music without moving away from the song you're playing. If you like what you hear you can save it for later or start it right away.
· New Collection - a new way to save music that you love, or want to listen to at a later time. No more having to create a playlist for your favourite album, just click the 'add' symbol and it will be added to your collection.
· Mobile push notifications for new album releases - never miss new music from your favourite artists ever again. As soon as new music from artists you follow hits Spotify, you'll receive a mobile alert.
· Additional improvements include - a more curated social feed; better personalised Profile page; redesigned Artist pages.
"Our music influences are as individual as we are," says Ek. "Maybe you discover new songs or artists by reading reviews, listening to the radio, or sharing with friends. Maybe you go to a lot of concerts, love making cool playlists, or want to know what the people you care about are getting in to. Spotify now brings all of this together."
Spotify's Follow features will roll out as part of a desktop app update in the coming weeks, with a full cross-platform upgrade arriving next year.