Spotify is in the process of testing a new AI-driven feature that generates playlists based on text prompts. The discovery was made by TikTok user @robdad_, who shared a brief clip with the caption, “I just randomly discovered Spotify’s ChatGPT?” For those involved in the testing, the feature is accessible under Your Library after selecting the plus sign to create a new playlist. TechCrunch reported this development, confirming with Spotify that it is indeed experimenting with AI playlists. However, there is no clarity yet on whether the music streaming service intends to roll it out publicly.
The in-app description of the feature, as seen in the TikTok video, encourages users to “Turn your ideas into playlists using Al” (Artificial Intelligence). It also mentions that the feature is currently available in English. The interface includes a chatbot field for custom inputs and provides suggested prompts like “Get focused at work with instrumental electronica,” “Fill the silence with background cafe music,” “Get pumped up with fun, beat, and positive songs,” and “Explore a niche genre like Witch House.”
@robdad_ opted for the final choice. The bot responded, “Here’s your Witch House Exploration playlist. Swipe left to remove any songs you don’t want as you continue refining your playlist.” Due to the nature of video editing, the TikTok clip doesn’t reveal how long Spotify’s AI took to generate the tracks.
The resulting playlist, with a notable presence of Grimes tracks, featured “Bloom for Me” by Pearly Drops, “Goth” by Sidewalks and Skeletons, “Pin” by Grimes, “After Dark” by Mr.Kitty, “Suffocation” by Crystal Castles, “Cold Touch” by Kito and GrimesAI, “chain” by Aziya, and “Nothing Lasts Forever” by Sevdaliza and Grimes. The assessment of whether the AI did a good job is left to the expertise of Witch House enthusiasts.
In response to inquiries from TechCrunch, Spotify remained guarded about the potential release of AI playlists to the general public. A Spotify spokesperson stated, “We routinely conduct a number of tests. Some of those tests end up paving the path for our broader experience, and others serve only as an important learning. We don’t have anything further to share at this time.”
In the event that Spotify decides to roll out this feature, it might consider incorporating it as an incentive to attract users to opt for a higher-priced subscription tier. The introduction of the premium hi-fi feature, announced nearly three years ago, is still pending, especially considering that rival Apple Music has already included lossless audio in its offerings without an additional charge. Additionally, an extended audiobook library could serve as another enticing perk for inclusion in an upgraded subscription plan.
Earlier this year, Spotify introduced an AI DJ feature (powered by OpenAI technology) that provides personalized recommendations through spoken guidance. This feature utilizes an AI voice trained on Xavier “X” Jernigan, the company’s Head of Cultural Partnerships.
Similar to many in the tech sector, the music streaming platform is evidently keen on integrating artificial intelligence into its offerings. Beyond the AI DJ feature, Spotify’s CEO and co-founder, Daniel Ek, mentioned in a July earnings call the potential use of AI to “contextualize and personalize content.” Bill Simmons, the founder of The Ringer, reported in May (initially by Semafor) that Spotify was exploring a method to leverage users’ voices for advertising. Simmons noted, “You have to obviously give the approval for the voice, but it opens up, from an advertising standpoint, all these different great possibilities for you.”
In the latest development, earlier this month, Spotify implemented its third round of layoffs in 2023, marking another chapter in what has proven to be a challenging year of job reductions across the tech industry.