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Despite concerns, some users embrace Spotify’s AI technologies

Streaming platforms such as Spotify are becoming increasingly advanced, which means the use of AI has increased as well.
Streaming platforms such as Spotify are becoming increasingly advanced, which means the use of AI has increased as well.

From ChatGPT to banking services, AI has taken over. 

It has even spilled into the music industry. Some of the newest advancements are AI features on your favorite streaming platforms to help you find new songs, artists and genres. 

In addition to the algorithms used by Spotify to generate playlists for listeners, such as the daily mixes, some new AI technology that has been added includes the DJ feature, recommendations for enhancing your current playlists and more. Listeners use these features daily and, more often than not, don’t know they’re using AI technology.

In the past, AI in the music industry has faced criticism for reasons such as using it to create songs that mimic famous artists. Spotify's use of AI is doing the opposite, driving listeners to their platform. 

“I love to listen to the daily mixes. I have around eight of the daily mixes saved to my profile,” said Heather Myers, a first-year architecture major. “It's crazy how they can zone in the specific genres you like and make whole playlists based around them. Sometimes you feel one genre, and these playlists make it easy to find the right music.”

All of these features take users’ past music history and provide them with new song recommendations based on this data. The new songs listeners are exposed to open up the opportunity to adjust or expand the subscriber's overall music taste. 

“The new features on Spotify have changed my music taste because they will throw curve balls at you, but I groove with it,” Myers said. “This will also lead me to dive deeper into the artist or the genre, and because of this, I like my music taste a lot better now because I feel that it is so much broader.”

The DJ feature is the newest addition to the plethora of technology that Spotify has introduced, debuting on the platform in February of 2023. This option allows the listener to have their songs chosen for them by the AI-powered DJ based on their past song selections.

This modern spin on the radio will play a variety of genres that include new songs you haven't heard before, along with songs you enjoyed years back. You will even find the automated DJ introducing upcoming songs, similar to how a radio show host would. 

“I have recently checked out the AI DJ and enjoy not having to pick my music while I walk to class or work out,” said Ryan Perman, a first-year environmental science major. “But at the end of the day, I find myself skipping over songs and still leaning toward the music I am already comfortable with.”

As radio and CDs go unlistened and more technology is introduced, streaming platforms continue to become more advanced. Leaving behind more straightforward but less accessible and interactive ways of listening to our favorite music, we become more drawn to what is new on the market. 

Spotify has partnered with AI companies to advance its platform for around a decade. As Spotify continues to build upon its technology, influencing other companies such as Apple Music, AI updates on our music platforms may become our new normal.  

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“I would definitely find myself more drawn to a platform with more features available for subscribers because I feel like I am always trying to find new music,” Perman said, “and AI-suggested songs are the most efficient way to do that.”