I spend most of my day on Spotify.
It starts when I wake up in the morning and need some jams to get my day started. It continues as I walk to work and then switches over from phone to laptop once I get to my office. At some point, I let my friend use my ad free version while I’m in a meeting, before stealing it back after lunch. It’s 11pm now as I’m writing this post and I have Spotify playing some roommate agreed upon music from my Bluetooth speaker.
So you can imagine my excitement when I found out we would have the pleasure of hearing from somebody who works at Spotify.
Melissa Finney was by far the best speaker I have experienced so far on my Master’s journey. Perhaps I may be a little biased, but her quick wit paired with useful information kept me engaged well after the class ended.
I couldn’t stop thinking about the personalization.
I’ve known Spotify has been following my every move for awhile. They pretty much have my number down- if I’m not listening to K-pop, I’m listening to the other hated genre of Country. But it wasn’t always like that, but guess what? Spotify remembers that too.
Hearing from Melissa about how much data Spotify is collecting and using made my mind explode. Because it isn’t just about what I tell them with my music. It’s also about my birthday and the songs that they know were on the radio during my childhood because I was born in 1992. It’s the way they take one song I’ve listened to and predict the other songs I probably know. It’s the way when I skip a song on shuffle, the next song is always one that I’ve listened to multiple times before.
When Melissa told us that people who have a more personalized experience stream more, I was not surprised. What she was saying wasn’t groundbreaking, but rather the way Spotify performs this personalization that is.
I walked away from her presentation with new ways of thinking about data and personalization. And now when I listen to Spotify, I’m tracking my own moves. What brought this playlist onto my browse page? What actions did I take? And how can I translate my learnings to my own projects?