Remember the good old days of 2016 when music discovery meant listening to a friend’s recommendations instead of an algorithm? Spotify, the company that pioneered data-driven music recommendations, is testing a feature that revives an old fashioned alternative.
Spotify is testing ‘Tastebuds,’ a feature that lets both free and paid users explore the musical tastes of their friends.
While social recommendations were once as important to music discovery as radio, Spotify chose to go all-in on data. One nod to social discovery, messaging was shut down in 2017 and other, a Friend Activity ticker is restricted to the desktop app.
First discovered by Techcrunch sleuth Jane Manchun Wong and now confirmed by Spotify, users can tap on a pen icon to “search the people you follow” and view information what those users have been playing and then listen or add songs to their own library.
You can see Tastebuds in action wild here.
Hope For Indie Artists?
Social music discovery offers a big opportunity for Spotify and would be a big win for independent artists who feel shut out of the streamer’s corporate-controlled curated playlists and unable to compete with label marketers’ efforts to game the streamer’s algorithm.