Lively and in-depth discussions of city news, politics, science, entertainment, the arts, and more.
Hosted by Larry Mantle
Airs Weekdays 10 am - 12 pm

Spotify’s 'data alchemist' on how he's changing how you listen to music

"Spotify HQ"
Sorosh Tavakoli via Flickr

Listen to story

Download this story 2MB

The days of paying 99 cents per song are all but a thing of the past, and streaming services like Spotify are the wave of the future.

Gone, too, are the days where music could only be classified by genre. More and more audiophiles are starting to look for music that fits their mood rather than a specific genre, and it’s driving the streaming music industry to adapt.

If you’ve ever used Spotify, you know that that in addition to streaming music based on genre, you can also download playlists that have been mixed based on what the listener is doing or feeling while listening.

Take working out, for instance. In a Washington Post article from last week, author Brian Fung explains how Spotify noticed that users were making lots of workout or running playlists, so they started researching running and exercise. They found that higher beats per minute (BPM) did have a positive effect on workout music, so they created a feature that allows users to set a minimum BPM, and Spotify will only play music at or above that level. However, they then realized they didn’t have enough music at high BPM levels, so they turned to DJs and composers to create it.

How do you use mood playlists in your daily life? Are you more likely to listen to something that fits your mood rather than a specific music genre that you like? How do these playlists help enhance your daily life?


Glenn McDonald, data alchemist for The Echo Nest at Spotify