The Independent Group: The Hour-by-Hour Story of Launch Day in Social Data
By Gemma JoyceFeb 19
Published June 2nd 2016
Spotify’s Discover Weekly is either a lottery that you dip into now and again, or the sole savior of your Monday that can either make or break your week.
If you’re not familiar with it, it’s part of hugely popular music streaming service Spotify, that uses an algorithm based on your listening history and preferences to provide a personalized 30-track playlist of suggested tunes for each user every Monday.
We decided to take a look at three months of Discover Weekly mentions on Twitter to see what overall feeling is towards the popular feature.
Is it getting people’s musical preferences right? Who takes to Twitter to express their love/hate of their playlist? Can an algorithm based on your musical taste really know you better than you know yourself?
It’s time for Discover Weekly to face the social music.
Overall we tracked 44,452 mentions of Discover Weekly on Twitter going back to March.
Unsurprisingly, 33% of those were tweeted on a Monday, the day that the playlist is released.
Mentions generally slope downwards towards the end of the week, suggesting Spotify users are keen enough on the feature to get tweeting about it on the day it comes out.
— Alyssa Wilkinson (@WilkinsonAlyssa) May 16, 2016
In fact, Spotify recently announced that since the feature’s launch in July 2015 nearly five billion tracks have been played using it.
According to the streaming giant, there are 40 million subscribers to the Discover Weekly playlist and more than half of them stream 10 tracks from it each week.
Our analysis of geo-tagged mentions definitely demonstrates the reach.
(For clarity, we only searched for “Discover Weekly” and related terms in English).
There’s no doubt that Discover Weekly is a rip-roaring success, but does it always hit the spot?
There were just under 800 mentions where people talked about the playlist “knowing” them or their tastes – some even said it knew them better than they knew themselves.
Spotifys discover weekly playlist knows me better than I know myself
— Isabella Mansfield (@imansfield97) May 31, 2016
“Knowing” certainly seems to be the standard for some tweeters. When the algorithm gets it wrong some people take it like an unthoughtful gift from a sibling. Do you even know me at all?
Apparently my Spotify discover weekly doesn’t know me at all bc they put Meghan Trainor on the playlist HELL NO
— ≫tori≪ (@ToriMyslinski) March 1, 2016
Sometimes even when you think it doesn’t know, sticking with it could change your mind.
I love when I hate my discover weekly playlist on monday but then I play it again on sunday and I’m just like bruhh soo good
— Shamir (@blacktreeblue) May 29, 2016
We decided to take a look at key words that jumped out of the data to see how Twitter really felt about their playlists.
Uses of the positive words and phrases we analyzed massively outweighed the negative.
At the end of the day, it’s not Spotify’s fault that you listen to music you don’t like…
If I really don’t like my Discover Weekly playlist is that Spotify’s fault of mine???
— Elise Gahan (@_fELISE_navidad) April 26, 2016
Discover Weekly is all about finding new music, and plenty of tweeters are a fan of discovering new artists on their personalized playlist.
When you find a new artist on Spotify ? thank you Discover weekly ?
— Jasmin (@xbabyponce) April 11, 2016
Best part about @Spotify‘s Discover Weekly is the exposure to new music types. Never knew I loved electro/DJ music this much.
— Alex (@The_Freeb) March 23, 2016
Overall we found 3,454 mentions of “new” in our dataset. We also found that, far from surprisingly, it was creative professionals and those with an interest in music that tweeted most about the playlist.
I always find killer bands with the weirdest names in Spotify’s Discover Weekly playlist. This time around: Blotted Science.
— James M. (@interneth3ro) May 31, 2016
What do you think of Spotify’s Discover Weekly?
Want more juicy data? Follow @BW_React