Spotify keeps adding news ways to keep users engaged. Playlists based on your favorite artists & most played tracks are heavily promoted. So which ones are currently available? And which ones are the best?
At the end of the year, it has become a tradition to listen to Spotify’s wrap-up of ‘Your Top Songs‘. Revisiting the most played tracks sometimes makes you wonder how they do this, since the list can feature songs you have only heard once. But on average, Spotify is really good at uncovering what you like and have listened to.
Of course ‘Your Top Songs of 2019’ is just one of the ways Spotify tries to keep you engaged. After ‘Discover Weekly’ debuted in 2015, it soon became apparent that users really loved this type of recommendations, which made Spotify rethink its focus and invest more resources into algorithm-based playlists. Today, there’s is an overwhelming number of recommendation lists and sections based on your listening behavior. So let’s take a look!
New or lesser known Spotify playlists
Over the course of 2019, I noticed the following new playlists. Some of them actually debuted in 2017 – but they were new to me 😉
- On repeat
The songs you can’t get enough of right now
Quick review: nice idea, and it makes me happy to hear lots of great tracks again. Still sounds fresh as well! In fact there is one song I don’t recognize whichs seems a bit of a mistery. And it’s a pretty wild mix because I listen to such a wide variety of genres. The selection jumps from classical to house to Christmas songs (which yes, I listen to a lot at the end of the year 🙂 ). Of course, if you would listen to ‘On Repeat’ often, you’ll create your own taste bubble, which is probably why the other lists have been developed.
- Repeat Rewind
Past songs that you couldn’t get enough of
Quick review: just as ‘On repeat’, it is a pretty eclectic mix which indeed can only function as a personal playlist. As expected, there’s a bit more surprise here, and it’s great reminder of artists you like and now may have released new material.
- Your summer rewind
New playlist featuring your old summer favorites
Quick review: Probably based on the idea that you listen to a particular type of music in the summer. And although I do have a ‘BeachSunSummer’ playlist, that doesn’t mean my musical appetite is confined to just those tracks because it’s August. ‘Your summer rewind’ therefore doesn’t mean that much to me.
- Family Mix
Listen together with the people on your family plan.
Quick review: we have a family of five in our plan but the list is currently empty. Apparently you have to actively join first. Not planning to do this any time soon, our musical preferences are too far apart.
- Taste Breakers
Playlists of songs from genres and artists you don’t normally explore
Quick review: The list shown in my ‘Made for you’ section has been compiled in December 2018. I would expect to see a new list by now but couldn’t find it. And indeed Spotify hasn’t made a newer version (check the answer to the question “What happened to the ‘Tastebreakers’ or ‘The Ones That Got Away’ playlists?). That said, I quite like the one based on my 2018 listening behavior. It feels more like ‘more of what you like’ than a true taste breaker, which is probably the reason I like it. Would welcome a new edition.
- The ones that got away
Collection of songs you’ll wish you’d discovered earlier in the year
Quick review: This is a list I didn’t know until now, but in fact it was compiled at the end of 2017 and no newer versions have been made available since then. It’s pretty good but hey, so are thousands of other lists. When a personal recommendation playlist is over two years old it’s just not that interesting anymore.
Even more Spotify recommendations
Apart from playlists, there are sections shown on the home tab of desktop and mobile app:
- Recently played
(I use this quite a lot since I don’t always remember what I have listened to.)
- Made for [your user name]
Contains Release Radar, Daily mixes, Your Top Songs of past years
- Your heavy rotation
Most listened-to playlists from current month
- Jump back in
Your top listens from the past few months
- Your Decade Wrapped
Collection of all your top songs playlists per year
- Based on your recent listening
Playlists you’re not following yet, inspired by recent activity
- More of what you like
A little bit of everything you love
- Recommended for today
A collection of 8 tracks, inspired by your recent activity
- Similar to [artist]
8 tracks which relate to an artist you’ve listened to
- Your favorite albums and songs
8 albums/songs based on – I’m guessing – activity from the past months
Playlists you don’t follow yet, for a selected genre you like.
That is quite lot!
And now, and the end of the decade, Spotify even offers a wrap-up of your most popular tracks and artists of 2019 and the past decade. You’ll need to login to see a nice interactive, shareable story-format, showing your top artists of 2019 and the years before. Well done.
Of course, if you’re a regular Spotify user, you’ll be familiar with these very popular playlists I briefly mentioned above:
- Your Discover Weekly
Interesting mix which sometimes misses the mark completely, but often features at least three good news tracks I didn’t know yet.
- Your Release Radar
Often has some pleasant surprises from my favorite artists, like new remixes of known songs.
- Your Daily Mixes
6 mixes based on genre. Somehow I don’t get to listen to these much.
As said, the wealth of choices might be too much for the average user. I get the impression Spotify desperately tries to keep you engaged within their desktop or mobile apps, making sure you don’t leave them for one of the many competitors.
Which of Spotify’s personal recommendation playlists are the best?
Of course that’s entirely up to you. Personally, I Iike these three the most:
- Your Discover Weekly
- Your Release Radar
- Repeat Rewind
In addition, out of the sections on the home tab, I definitely like ‘Recommended for today‘ and ‘Recently played‘.
But that’s just Spotify 😉 Let’s not forget that you can’t go wrong with incorporating other sources in your musical diet, in order to not get too reliant on what Spotify has to offer.
And if you want to know more about how Spotify is producing these great playlists, be sure to read: