Spotify struck gold last year with Discover Weekly, a personalized two-hour playlist sent to users each week to help them find new music. Now the service is expanding another feature aimed at music discovery.
Fresh Finds will offer songs each week from “undiscovered” artists who are not yet being listened to widely on Spotify, but are poised to have a breakout hit. The music is chosen through a mixture of algorithmic selection and human editing by Spotify staff, as explained by Quartz.
First, Spotify scours music websites to see who the most buzzy new artists are. Then, the service identifies which of its own users are listening to these artists. These users are dubbed tastemakers, and it’s their listening habits that are used to populate the Fresh Finds playlists.
Right now Spotify is using about 50,000 users' listening habits to power the playlists, according to Quartz.
While Discover Weekly is attuned to each user’s individual taste, Fresh Finds is a non-personalized peek at the artists and songs that Spotify predicts will become more broadly popular in the future. The Fresh Finds playlists are divided by genres such as hip-hop, vocal pop and electronic music. They'll be updated every Wednesday.
Fresh Finds, like Discover Weekly before it, was developed by a former employee at Echo Nest, a music data startup that Spotify acquired in 2014. As competitors like Apple Music and Tidal tout exclusive content from high-profile artists, Spotify’s strategy appears to be to out-engineer its foes and wring more value out of the non-exclusive music in its library. Even if you can’t listen to the new Kanye West album, Spotify’s hope is that its algorithms can drive you toward other, lesser-known artists that you can enjoy just as much.