Spotify: prompt for the next playlist, AI creates for you

The next playlist you listen to on Spotify will be generated by artificial intelligence, which will act according to your requests. This will happen because the audio streaming giant has launched Playlist AI. This new feature allows users to get the sequence of tracks they are looking for by suggesting a theme and music genre to the Spotify software via a prompt.

Depending on the original textual request and taking into account the user’s tastes, a playlist will be generated that combines the most played tracks on the platform with the requestor’s needs. Put like that; it could be a good opportunity but also a chance to end up with popular songs that the recipient does not like. For this reason, Spotify has thought of a remedy, with the user being able to make further suggestions as to genre, perhaps asking for a more pop or less electronic beat, but above all, being able to delete unwelcome tracks and add favourite ones.

A great step forward – Spotify

Playlist AI marks a significant improvement over AI DJ, Spotify’s initial foray into using artificial intelligence. While AI DJ was limited to suggesting popular tracks, Playlist AI flips the script by curating songs and artists based on user input. This new feature, currently in beta for iOS and Android devices, is exclusively available to premium subscribers in the UK and Australia.

Those who tried it out were surprised by the results, describing the ability to match songs to particular and niche requests as ‘impressive’. On a more general level, in announcing the innovation, Spotify claimed that ‘the most successful playlists are generated with prompts that contain a combination of genres, moods, artists, or decades‘.

Another relevant aspect is the wide range of textual prompts, which can contain references to places, animals, activities, film characters, colours and even emojis. As the Swedish company’s advice suggests, one can go from “an indie folk playlist to give my brain a big warm hug” to “relaxing music to tide me over during allergy season,” or “a playlist that makes me feel like the main character”.

The only limit is one’s imagination, while those who do not have any ideas to suggest to the software to generate the playlist will receive suggestions from the platform itself concerning their mood or activities.

AI improves the product and increases subscriptions 

With Playlist AI, the customised song list is easy to obtain. All the user has to do is access ‘Your Library’, tap the + button in the top right-hand corner, and type in the request to receive a playlist of 30 songs related to the desired mood and rhythms. At that point, the user can edit the results until they finalise the list of songs they like best. Then, simply click ‘Create’ to start listening to your exclusive playlist.

Relying on AI is obviously a quicker solution than manually creating a playlist, with the selection of each individual song to be included in the list. In order to best respond to prompts, Spotify uses the Large Language Model, although there are some limits to the prompts that can be made: no brand references, few options on topical themes and activities, and an absolute ban on insults.

As mentioned, Playlist AI represents an acceleration in the process of integrating AI with the services available on the platform. Daniel Ek, co-founder and CEO of Spotify, has already informed investors that the next features in which AI will be used will be podcast summaries and audio ads. In this way, the company is confident of perfecting the product and increasing revenues from advertisers.

At the same time, however, the expansion of the service’s functionality, with generative AI requiring major energy and financial efforts, will be useful for the company to justify the increase in the price of subscriptions, which will be announced in the main Western markets by the end of the year.

Alessio Caprodossi is a technology, sports, and lifestyle journalist. He navigates between three areas of expertise, telling stories, experiences, and innovations to understand how the world is shifting. You can follow him on Twitter (@alecap23) and Instagram (Alessio Caprodossi) to report projects and initiatives on startups, sustainability, digital nomads, and web3.