During internal testing, his team realized that if you don’t recognize a single artist in a playlist, you might question if it’s actually geared for you. That’s why the playlist is intended to have a mix of mostly new tracks with a few songs you’ve heard before.
“There’s something compelling about this humans versus robots narrative: a lovingly curated playlist versus an algorithm screwing up your sexy time,” says Ogle. “That whole distinction no longer really describes how we work. Discover Weekly is humans all the way down. Every single track that appears in Discover Weekly is because other humans being have said, ‘Hey this is a good song, and here’s why.’”
My Discover Weekly playlist has been hitting the spot and it’s interesting to get an insight into how they are put together.
Although Spotify has had humans making playlists for years, its efforts got a major boost last year with the introduction of Truffle Pig, an internal tool from The Echo Nest that breaks music down into thousands of categories like “wonky,” “chillwave,” “stomp and holler,” or “downtempo.”
What you hear from everyone at Spotify is that humans using data insights are key to curating music on a large scale. Naturally, they’re also using data to evaluate how well playlists are working.
An example of data-centric tools aiding human decision makers.