Spotify tests recommendation on/off switch that will hurt artists, limit discovery

Spotify is testing a new feature that allows users to turn off music recommendations based on previous listening habits.

Spotify acknowledged the test saying it is “evaluating the ability” and thanked users for trying the feature.

While some complain about flaws in Spotify’s algorithmically driven recommendations, they are a major source of music discovery and many artists have benefitted from being exposed to listeners whose taste matches their music.

Broken Promise?

Empowering users to turn off reccomendations also runs counter to Spotify’s promise to help artists build an audience and cripples what the streamer itself says is its most popular feature.

“When you ask listeners what they love most about Spotify, more than 81% cite our personalization, or discoverability,” CEO Daniel EK said at Spotify’s June 2022 Investor Day. “That magic ability to introduce a user to their next favorite song and artist. Spotify listeners view this as the reason not only to sign up for our service, but also to stay. “

If users turn off reccomendations, artists lose a proven path for discovery at the same time that Spotify is eliminating royalty payments for hundreds of thousands of their peers.

Bruce Houghton is the Founder and Editor of Hypebot, a Senior Advisor at Bandsintown, President of the Skyline Artists Agency, and a Berklee College Of Music professor.

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