Is Spotify slowly killing itself?

spotify

#1

Anyone else finding that for all the noise about Discover Weekly (mine is always terrible versions of bands I like…) and the Release Radar (seems to be quite a bit better) has led to them increasingly resembling one giant Now Compilation by pushing TODAY’S HITS. It feels like they’ve made the editorial side of what they do feel like it’s a bit of a closed shop too. Come for the music you like, get presented with the latest Gaga and Goulding. I’m sure some people want that, but the top 1% feel like they’re everywhere already, do we really need them shoved in our faces again and again?

Much like AppleMusic being all Drake to the fore, it just feels a bit like if you’re going to pay £120 a year for a service that it should occasionally offer up some surprises and feel like a place that’s passionate about music, rather than pushing the latest major label release with a shrug. Oddly, it makes me miss MySpace who were integral to jumpstarting the careers of acts like Kate Nash and Test-icicles (Dev is now Blood Orange, etc)

My friend Darren who works in digital marketing wrote something interesting - or ‘on point’ as the yoof doth say - about what they’ve been doing with playlists, which perfectly underscores why we’ve massively reigned in our playlist activity, after years of talking to them and hearing promises about how they might feature and push DiS and curators like us to the fore.

Be really curious how you all feel about Spotify now or whether you just don’t pay any notice to their editorial.


#2

I’d rather it didn’t as it took me years to swallow my pride and stop primarily using MP3s.


#3

Is Spotify the new DiS?


#4

*heading for a fall?


#5

I’m an oddball that buys MP3s after finally abandoning CDs a few years ago. Does feel kind of pointless but i can’t escape the idea of having a collection and i don’t have the time, money, patience or space for vinyl.


#6

I never use their playlists. The first week when it had an overhaul I had a look and although the weekly had some decent picks, the playlists included ‘indie bbq’ so I hadn’t gone back until you posted this. Yeah, it’s rubbish.


#7

Seems a shame but fairly inevitable given Spotify is, as I understand it, funded by the major labels and also perhaps is feeling the pressure not to lose out on ‘exclusives’ to tidal & apple.

Can’t remember which apple person it was but one of them got into a bit of a media frenzy about some misogynistic remarks he made a few months back. But I thought what he was actually trying to get at was an insight in terms of how these platforms are likely to develop, basically they’ve realised the way to profitability is to get casual music listeners, who probably used to buy 1 or 2 CD’s a year to to get a subscription. That’s a massive step up in terms of revenue generation and at that point you are really talking about an updated paid for radio service. And the way to get casual listeners to do that is to pound them with the familiar. They’ll look at a playlist the same way they look at a best of comp in the supermarket, counting how many tracks they already know.

Don’t know why I wrote that, you’ll know if that is true or not. Just my interpretation.

Anyway I’ve just gone back to Spotify after a few years flitting about between basically all the different streaming services. I am finding quite a few things frustrating tbh but I’ve never been a big playlist person so hadn’t noticed that aspect yet.


#8

It’s still fabulous.


#9

Discover Weekly is about 1000x better than any feature apple music or tidal can offer.


#10

i don’t really look at their playlists very much. i have a look at my Discover Weekly every week out of curiosity but don’t really stick it on. i was having a look at some of their ‘The Sound Of’ (Post-Punk/Noise Rock/Lo Fi etc) but they were all far too long actually listen to, just interesting to see what they included.

actually i don’t listen to that many playlists in general, not even the ones i make.


#11

I wouldn’t even look at it tbh. Spotify serves a purpose but any of the rest of the crap that comes with it feels like a secondary function (cause it is).

Idk, (snobbery alert) discerning listeners are more likely to want info to help them decide what to check out rather than just ‘I’ll play you this now’ aren’t they? Anyone know what the stats are for users and how much they interact with the editorial?


#12

It’s still the go to place to preview albums or examine an artist’s early work for free, so in that sense it’s still a success.

While the Discover playlist is decent I find the uncurated (for me) Bandcamp Weekly far more interesting.


#13

I find the Discover playlist a bit hit and miss – some weeks it’s really good, others not so much. It seems to suggest a lot of bands/songs I’ve already heard. I would have perhaps expected Spotify to have a better idea of what I’ve been listening to? I probably wouldn’t have gotten into Chastity Belt and Disappears without hearing them on there though, so I’m glad it exists.


#14

I think I agree but I’m tired and have to fly early and good night for now


#15

Still a Spotify fancier

But I do think the Tidal and Apple exclusives do hurt them a fair bit. Still some things I haven’t really listened to because I can’t be arsed having more than one streaming service, but lately been rethinking that. Glad Frank Ocean is finally on Spotify! i still really like the recommendations, and in particular ‘Because you listened to’. You probably only get crap recommendations because you listen to crap!

One thing that is frustrating me is that scrobbling has all of a sudden become really temperamental, admittedly not sure if that’s spotify, last.fm or my phone settings

Anyway, I am off to listen to Vauxhall and ! because I was listening to the Cure!


#16

Release Radar is useful, though not essential. I haven’t had much luck with Discover Weekly but haven’t gone deep into it.
Their This Week’s Releases playlist is good - it includes albums reviewed by major sources, including DiS. It’s my number 1 source for finding new albums.

Their genre playlists are pretty bad - e.g. there’s some “low-fi” playlist that includes loads of heavily-produced stuff - they seem to think ‘low-fi’ means something like ‘dreampop’. And living in New Zealand my home page is dominated by “local artist” playlists that are solely Australian. Those are actually different countries, guys…


#17

i use it once in a whiIe to hear an album i’m thinking of buying but figure maybe worth waiting for a 2 for £15 or even 3 for £10 deal. i dig cds stiII and since everyone stopped buying them i can get some pretty good bargains (recentIy kurt, miIes, robert Johnson, tori, taIking heads aII 2.99 each) and enjoy picking out from my coIIection to Listen to. on the move i need reIiabIe tunes to keep my mood in check for whatever i have to do so i have what i need in my phone. i also worry about streaming giving customers the iIIusion that artists really get paid much from their tiny subscription fees, so don’t really support streaming much. appIe and tidaI can eat one as far as i am concerned - the former: where do i start? and the Iatter a vanity exercise for some of the worst so caIIed artists going. i would rather Ieave my mixcIoud or soundcIoud or internet radio stations (mainly but not onIy ones that play me) randomIy playing artists i don’t know tbh. just feeIs better for my souI! :wink: that said, the other day my friend used a catered to pIayIist on spotify and it chose some cooI stuff. it then played a taIking heads song which made us decide just to Listen to them! :slight_smile:


#18

I have always wondered why they push the same terrible adds for music I clearly dont like when they have a list of musical preferences in front of me. They really should offer better targeted adds.


#19

I never listen to the playlists on Spotify, not counting my own. Once in awhile I’ll check out Discover Weekly but I listen to such a wide variety of genres, decades, etc. that the DW Curator Bot doesn’t have a clue. Which actually makes it more interesting, never knowing what I’ll get week by week. I’m a bit miffed at them right now because they have disabled New Release Notifications on the desktop and I rarely get the email notifications I’m supposed to, I wind up finding decent new stuff through SwarmFM and the Spotify New Release Sorting Hat. I’m the kind of Spotify user who already knows what he wants to hear before opening the program. I don’t need or want Spotify’s recommendations (though I don’t mind the Discover feature). I don’t care at all about potential editorial aspects, I’m more interested in the database. Other websites are beginning to incorporate Spotify into their content (LastFM & AllMusic to name a couple) and there’s plenty of room for innovation. They are a frustrating lot, their developers etc. but they usually wind up doing the right thing. The future looks bright for them.


#20

don’t really care. Like it would be nice if the bells and whistles were better obviously, but that’s not the reason anyone pays for it. As long as they’ve got most of the stuff I want to listen to, and a good working interface on desktop and mobile, they can keep having my money