Spotify will personalize some of its biggest playlists for users

It's betting this will help artists reach the right audiences.

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Guillaume Payen/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
Guillaume Payen/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Spotify isn't just reserving personalization for obvious playlists like Discover Weekly. The streaming giant is planning to personalize some of its other playlists based on your tastes. You won't get the exact same playlist as a friend, in other words. The company was betting that this will increase the odds of songs reaching the "right listeners," not to mention encourage longer listening sessions.

To that end, Spotify is now offering unique playlist links to make sure people can listen to versions of a playlist with a specific song included. Artists shouldn't have to worry that the playlist they share won't include their own song.

The company provided some data to back up its claims. The personalized touch boosted the number of playlist-featured artists by 30 percent, and the number of discovered songs by 35 percent, according to Spotify. It also saw repeat listens for songs shoot up by 80 percent, and a 66 percent hike in the number of times people have saved tracks.

This move ostensibly helps both artists and listeners, but there are lingering concerns. Spotify didn't provide a full list of affected playlists, so it's not certain just when you'll be looking at an individualized song list. And while this could increase discovery for some musicians, there's also the risk of creating bubbles where some listeners are less likely to hear music outside of their comfort zones. And of course, this makes it harder to share your enthusiasm for a playlist when you can't guarantee that someone will hear the same songs without sharing a link. It may take some time before the ramifications of Spotify's changes become clear.

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