Music Tech

Michael Brandvold on Spotify DJ: It ‘needs to do more’

Last week Spotify launched DJ, an AI-voiced personalized stream, and we asked some industry veterans to share their initial impressions. Your Morning Coffee’s Jay Gilbert said that it “accurately curated some great listening.” NUE’s Jesse Kirsbaum gave Spotify DJ a thumbs up, and Emily White of Collective Entertainment and #iVoted expressed some real skepticism.

Today Michael Brandvold, music marketer and cohost of the Music Biz Weekly Podcast, shares his thoughts.

From Michael Branvold

Very first impression… the voice is very natural, smooth, and life-like.

But… this isn’t going to be a threat to anything in its current form. The playlist is great, but existing Spotify playlists, such as Discover Weekly and Your Top Songs, are just as good.

The DJ right now doesn’t add anything to the experience beyond mentioning who you just listened to and who you are going to listen to.

Does this hold a lot of promise? Yes. The DJ needs to do a lot more than just announce songs… and some facts about the artist, the song, and the album. Even basic stuff like original release date, maybe charts, songwriters, producers… you know all that factual data that lives in Wiki. A DJ brings personality and connection to the listener to radio, this has no personality or connection yet.

A deeper fan connection will come when the DJ does more than just announce songs. Right now, there is nothing to connect to.

Where could this go?

Beyond what was mentioned above, how about letting artists provide data that the DJ could share about the artist’s songs and albums? Stories of the song. Allow artists to insert some info about a current tour, maybe? How about a more artist-specific radio channel and DJ? So fans could tune into the artist’s DJ?

Lots of promise here, but right now, I don’t see using this again as it is just a playlist.

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