Can Spotify's AI DJ Push You Out Of Your Musical Comfort Zone? Experts Say Recommender Systems Are Very Good But 'What They Can't Do Is...'

Spotify Technologies SA SPOT has been investing in artificial intelligence and machine learning for over a decade. The company’s latest AI DJ feature is a significant step towards personalizing the music streaming experience for its 600 million subscribers.

What Happened: Spotify’s AI DJ is a response to the challenge of helping listeners navigate the platform’s vast catalog of 100 million tracks. It is designed to mimic the radio experience by announcing song names and leading into tracks.

One challenge faced by AI algorithms, despite their proficiency in catering to listeners’ known preferences, is predicting when individuals seek to step outside their usual comfort zones. This is where the DJ button comes into play.

Listeners can activate the DJ button when they want to hear something new, less directly derived from their established likes. This feature aims to help listeners explore new music outside their comfort zones, reported CNBC.

A Spotify spokesperson said, “Since launching DJ, we've found that when DJ listeners hear commentary alongside personal music recommendations, they're more willing to try something new (or listen to a song they may have otherwise skipped)."

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Julie Knibbe, founder & CEO of Music Tomorrow said, “Any AI is only good at what you tell them to do,” adding, “These recommender systems have been around for over a decade and they've become very good at predicting what you will like. What they can't do is know what's in your head, specifically when you want to venture out into a new musical terrain or category.”

Those who are optimistic about technology often talk about a time of “abundance.” For example, even though there are about 100 million songs to choose from, many people keep going back to the same 100 songs repeatedly. This helps explain why there’s a push to find a new balance, the report noted.

However, according to Ben Ratliff, a music critic and author of a book called “Every Song Ever: Twenty Ways to Listen in an Age of Musical Plenty,” algorithms aren’t really solving this problem. Instead, they’re making it even harder to solve.

“As long as you realize that the app will never know you in the way you want to be known, and as long as you know what you're looking for, or have some good prompts at the ready, you can find lots of great music on Spotify.”

Why It Matters: Spotify’s AI DJ is a part of the company’s broader strategy to enhance user experience through AI and machine learning. The company is also developing new features inspired by TikTok to keep up with the platform’s popularity.

Spotify’s stock has been performing well, with analysts expecting the company to report 81 cents in EPS and $3.95 billion in revenue for its first-quarter earnings release on April 23. The stock is up 135% over the past year, rising 64% YTD, and analysts are buzzing with optimism and anticipation.

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Disclaimer: This content was partially produced with the help of Benzinga Neuro and was reviewed and published by Benzinga editors.

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