Spotify's Browse adds handpicked playlists for that 'human touch'

New additions to the music streaming site hope to differentiate Spotify in an increasingly hectic marketplace

Music-streaming service Spotify is continuing to broaden its functionality by adding a new feature called Browse that curates playlists “for every moment of your day, handpicked by our experts.”

The playlists will be handpicked by Spotify’s staff and will promise suitable accompaniment for different events in your day (‘the party tonight, the hangover tomorrow’) as well as for different moods.

The new service will be gradually rolling out for iOS and Android devices and will be set to complement the streaming service’s Discover function which offers music recommendations to users based on past listening habits and other algorithmically-scrubbed data.

Spotify hopes that Browse will add a “human touch” to the service with chief product officer Gustav Söderström saying: "We don't rely on one source for recommendations in real life - and music discovery can't be one dimensional.”

The update will also include changes to simplify and expand Spotify’s messaging system, again, adding social functionality to a product that started life as simply a searchable music library.

The changes are part of a larger groundswell of support from investors and tech companies in music streaming services. During their 2013 developers’ conference Apple announced the launch of iTunes Radio, a free streaming service supported by ads, and back in May Google launched Google Play Music All Access, offering a free 30 day trial before charging users $9.99 a month for access.

However, despite the interest from various companies, it’s still not sure whether the shift in the digital music industry from ownership to access is sustainable. Spotify and Pandora both operate at a loss (€58.7m and $16.1m respectively in 2012) despite increasing revenues, and there are bitter running battles between artists and license-holders about royalties.

Thom Yorke has been amongst the high profile dissenters, arguing that despite Spotify paying out 70 per cent of all its revenue to artists the service still doesn’t offer enough support to new artists.

And it isn't just Spotify and Pandora swimming alongside sharks like Google and Apple - there's also Rdio, Deezer, LastFM and forthcoming service from headphone-makers Beats.

Despite the attempts by companies like Spotify to differentiate themselves with more social functionality and music-discovery features, there just seem to be too many similar services on the market. Until a few players establish dominance (or work out a better revenue system) it seems unlikely that Thom Yorke, or the new artists he speaks in defense of, will be satisfied.

Suggested Topics
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Recruitment Genius: PHP Developer - Mid / Senior

    £25000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing digital agenc...

    Ashdown Group: SQL DBA - Croydon - up to £65,000

    £58000 - £65000 per annum: Ashdown Group: SQL DBA - Bromley, South East London...

    Ashdown Group: Service Delivery Manager - Retail / FMCG / WMS Operations

    £55000 - £65000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Service Delivery Manager ...

    Recruitment Genius: Software Developer

    £25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Software Developer is require...

    Day In a Page

    Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

    Machine Gun America

    The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
    The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

    The ethics of pet food

    Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
    11 best bedside tables

    11 best bedside tables

    It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
    No postcode? No vote

    Floating voters

    How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

    By Reason of Insanity

    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
    Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

    Power dressing is back

    But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
    Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

    Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

    Caves were re-opened to the public
    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

    Vince Cable interview

    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
    Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

    Promises, promises

    But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
    The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

    The death of a Gaza fisherman

    He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
    Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
    Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

    The only direction Zayn could go

    We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
    Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

    Spells like teen spirit

    A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
    Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
    Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

    Licence to offend in the land of the free

    Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell