August 17, 2011

Spotify Playlist Sharing Can Make You DJ for the World

On Friday, I mentioned Spotify's recent update that brought artist radio to the on demand music service, aiding for music discovery through similar bands and genres. But one of the main ways to discover music on Spotify is through your friends, thanks to the ability to design dynamic playlists and subscribe to any you find interesting. The social element, should you choose to leverage it, means you aren't just making playlists for yourself, but for anyone who wants to listen, making finding a new song even more exciting, as you can pass it on to your listening circle.

Having built my Spotify playlists largely for myself over the last two years, I haven't done an amazing job of curating them, and honestly, it's probable that the first one (Louis' Spotify) has gotten a bit stale. Even I don't listen to it as much as I used to. But I was jolted into paying attention when Facebooker Tudor Bosman, formerly of FriendFeed and Google, pushed me to keep updating the playlist. Apparently it is good background music to code to, and I wasn't doing my job well.

Tudor Asks Me to Keep My Spotify Playlist Flowing

With him now firmly in mind as my target audience, I know am even more interested in finding new music worthy of being added to the playlists. I even went back and cut many of my early adds, knowing I wanted to get the set right. Even if Tudor is my only listener, a good DJ just wants to be happy by making people dance. (Little known fact - I was the station manager of our campus cable radio station in high school and logged hundreds of on air hours) So now when I bump into a great song on Spotify, I add it to the playlist and imagine Tudor seeing the new song fall into his queue.

My Spotify Playlist Needs Some Updating for Listeners

Of course, Spotify's not the only service that has allowed for shared mixes. Apple's iTunes launched iMixes years ago, and I even wrote about my first one more than five years ago. But since the launch of iMix, Facebook blew up and Twitter debuted. This, in addition to other networks, has set the foundation for increased sharing one to one and one to many. Spotify posts have made up a good amount of my Twitter stream, and I've found new bands in my in box on the service, some good and some less so. 

Unlike Apple's iMixes, which if I remember correctly were to be published once and never edited, Spotify's playlists are dynamic. As I add or drop songs, the subscribers get new content and new arrangements. No good DJ plays the same set twice, and the same is true here, even if the subscribers are virtual.

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