40,000 tracks are added to Spotify every day.
Or something like that.
Either way, I’m tired of sifting and sorting through the countless playlists available on Spotify for good music to listen to. The Discover Weekly playlists and other algorithm-chosen songs just don’t cut it anymore. And with the ever-growing database of songs and content, this problem only gets bigger.
If music can be equated to food, I’m a picky eater. I don’t want to taste-test every playlist an algorithm has picked out for me. I want the “good stuff” and I want it now!
So I set out to find a better way to discover music. But first I had to see if this was indeed a problem and how other people dealt with it..
After interviewing several friends about the topic, I was able to understand the many ways that people discover music in today’s environment where amount of content grows every day.
Almost all participants I interviewed mentioned that they use the usual methods of discovering music but one of the most effective is through their friends circle by word-of-mouth. One participant even realized that her love for heavy-metal music today came from her close group of friends in high-school whom she no longer keeps in touch with.
Most of the other routes of discovery were online already and not always effective at introducing the user to good music.
I decided to deliver the experience of an online social circle that recommends good music based on your friends’ top played or favourite songs. This route of discovery seemed to be missing from streaming platforms.
Spotify has a Friend Activity section of its desktop app, however, this feature only shows what random friends are currently listening to at the moment. I wanted to capture your closest friends and the songs/artists they listen to the most.
Also, creating a social network out of this idea was also of interest to me, where you can add and swap friends to your “circle” so you never lose touch.
After evaluating several paper prototypes with real users, I was able to start the digital prototype which would fit in a mobile app and be eligible for user testing.
With a solution like this, users have a way to discover new, good music through their closest friends recommendations. Instead of an algorithm approach that learns from your own listening patterns, why not see what others in your circle are listening to?