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Spotify revamped for music discovery
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At an event in New York, Spotify founder Daniel Ek conceded that users who knew what music they liked had benefited more from Spotify than those who wanted to find out about new songs or albums.
In a bid to fix that, the streaming service is to add playlists from celebrities and muscicians, including Barack Obama, Florence and the Machine and Paul McCartney, as well as media such as Time Out and E4.
He said that each user's Spotify would look much more personalised, based on enhanced recommendation engines, in a move that means the service will offer features similar to those available from smaller rivals such as Rdio.
The music service, which currently charges UK subscribers £9.99 a month for unlimited access via mobile and PC to a library of tracks without any adverts, claimed to have 24million active users, one in five of whom pay for the service. The remainder use a free version with adverts that is not available on smartphones. Ek claimed that it had paid over $500m to musicians in royalties, and that users had created more than a billion playlists.
The company said that “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.”
New tabs on the Spotify software, which will now also be available as a web browser based version, will include ‘Follow’, ‘Discover’ and ‘Collection’, which will respectively allow users to see who likes what, see what the system suggests for them and gather together their own favourites.
“Users tell us they don’t know what to listen to, and artists tell us they want to connect more closely with fans” said Ek. “So we’re creating a new and personalised way of finding great music.”
The Follow tab will also highlight users’ Facebook friends and recommend who may be of interest.
Users will also be able to receive notifications whenever new music by their favourite artists becomes available.
“Our music influences are as individual as we are,” said 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.”
An update to Spotify’s desktop app will launch in the next few weeks, with other upgrades coming early in 2013.